Sunday, February 16, 2020

HumBug: Winter Insects

Posted By on Sun, Feb 16, 2020 at 11:10 AM

Walking along the road, I saw my first two milkmaids (Cardamine californica), the daffodil bulbs my friend gave me last fall, are starting to put up leaves and the pussy willows are budding out. They are all welcome reminders, spring is still in our future. 
click to enlarge Pussy willows are starting to bud out, even if not yet open for business. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • Pussy willows are starting to bud out, even if not yet open for business.
Despite the coolness of the day, there were quite a few small wolf spiders and a few unidentified flies sunning themselves on rocks near the river.

click to enlarge An unidentified fly. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • An unidentified fly.
I was delighted to see and photograph a variegated meadowhawk, a dragonfly I've reported every winter for the last six years or so. Seeing an adult dragonfly in the middle of winter still amazes me since members of the order odonata are characteristically fair weather friends. Now I look forward to seeing them every winter perching on rocks or low twigs near the river on days when we get a break from the cold wet weather.
click to enlarge Since I started reporting them six years ago, variegated meadowhawks have been reported along coastal rivers as far away as Bodega during the winter. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • Since I started reporting them six years ago, variegated meadowhawks have been reported along coastal rivers as far away as Bodega during the winter.

A woodpecker gleaned insects from dead branches of an alder. I'm not sure if it was Downy Woodpecker or a Hairy Woodpecker, they're pretty similar. Both live hereabouts and depend heavily on insects for survival.
click to enlarge Woodpecker gleans insects from dead branches in an alder. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • Woodpecker gleans insects from dead branches in an alder.
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