Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Don't ask. Don't tell.

Because the soldier beetles were busy "doing it."

On every single sunflower in the field.

Every single one of them.

Sometimes even as a double double.

This was just too much for what should have been a peaceful late Sunday afternoon so I headed for the woods. No sunflowers in the woods=no soldier beetles in the woods.

A Ground Beetle (Dicaelus purpuratus) raced, and I mean raced like in a full-on sprint, across the cement.

Bella's nose got right in there but it could not keep up with that beetle.

I managed to chase him into some leaves where the beetle then covered his head, apparently thinking I had now gone away. As soon as I carefully moved aside the leaf he was tucked under, that beetle was off again and just like that, gone. But then a solid black beetle, exact same size and traveling the exact same mph, tore at us from another direction.

I have no idea what got those guys racing like that....but I soon got distracted with more peaceful and calm bugs.

This Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycsteis) allowed me to photograph him...and photograph him. I took so many pictures and got so close that every photo after that, once I got home and put the photos on the computer, had a big smudge in the lower left corner. But then, maybe that smudge on the lens didn't come from the butterfly, maybe it came from Bella and her nose.

Nearby was another one of those leaf-footed bugs in some sort of bug yoga stance.

And then I almost walked into this....

A spider acrobat on a line tethered to her yellow-tipped feather prize.

It was starting to get dark so I thought I'd call it a day but not before taking one last look at the yellow flowers to see if they were still covered with those yellow beetles. Hmm, this flower looks like it's not in use...

But one peek behind that errant petal.......

...yet another soldier beetle pair. No surprise there. And when I drove myself home...

...it was no surprise to find yet another soldier beetle pair in the car with me. Out the window they went and I'm sure one was still clutching the other when they finally arrived at the end of my toss.


Rural Rambler said...

Ooooo Maria! Great pictures! But what are the soldier beetles busying themSELVES "doing IT"? Are they not suppose to be "doing it" in the Spring. I don't get it. I think we have two leaf-spotted whatevers "doing it" on our fire pit. They been "doing it" for a week now. We know cause they are at our wine time place under the Oaks. But our happy couple have some kind of cog looking thing on their backs. We aren't sure what/who they are. Tireless for sure. Beware the Asian Lady Bug Beetle, stink death squiggle Lady Bug Imposter is coming.

We have a new teeny tiny Euphorbia that came up in the rocks :) I think they must be "doing it".

Seriously cool pictures Maria.

snakey said...

great post!

and that final sunset shot? *sighs*

Paula said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. I have found your's very interesting since I am fond of turtles too. As for my neighbor and the zester she did work for a caterer at one time so I'm thinking she was used to useing a more expensive one.

Leenie said...

Nature at its finest. Maybe those soldiers have received their orders and are taking advantage of their last days at home. Maybe sunflowers are a bugs version of a red light district. Heh. Still such colorful photos.

Nice catch on the ground beetles. They are fast,that's for sure. They must be yummy to be in such a hurry to get out of sight. If I had that much bling I'd want to show it off.

And the sunset is for sure a picture worth a sigh or two.

Maria said...

Tireless. Pix, you found the perfect word to describe what was going on in that field. Lordy. It was just the craziest scene. Anything yellow had a soldier pair on it. Like I said, Lordy.

Another euphorbia? As pretty as the one you have already? Let's hope they "do it" successfully so you can send me some seeds. :-)

And thank you ma'am for the compliment. I was pretty proud of this crazy post, if I must declare so myself. >:-)

Snakey-Thanks for the compliment(!!!). And yes, that sunset scene...I wanted to get a photo of what was going on while I was driving but there are no places to stop and take a picture when you're on a rural highway going 65-70 mph. You have your choice of going forward or flying into a ditch that starts about a couple feet from the road. A deep ditch. When I'm desperate to take a picture I stop and make a turn onto that one gravel road. I wanted to take a picture of the crescent moon, the sunset and the biplane that was flying over the cornfield but oh well, some pink clouds in the distance are still pretty darn pretty.

Paula-I love your blog. Your phrasing of things just makes me laugh because you are so funny. Your turtles are a lot nicer than mine though. :-)

Leenie-Oh yes. My friend Sarah says that things in the country are a speedy version of the full range of life. Death and birth and substantial weed growth all in one day. And she is not exaggerating!!!! And yes, now I know that yellow sunflowers (which are the color of the SUN) are the "red light" district in the country. That was something to witness.

Those ground beetles appeared from nowhere and raced through one human and three dogs without any consideration of where we were standing...or moving. I'm still mystified about what got into them.

And yes, that was one pretty (but fast!) sunset. Sigh o'sigh o'sigh.