The Case of Fly v. Worm

After work, it was warm but breezy outside, so I took Sergeant Margie over to the WPA Rock Garden for a walk.  I got a few photos, but was totally fascinated by a huge hornworm that was munching on one of the plants there.  For some reason, a fly was harassing the worm, buzzing around it and poking it, until the worm just got aggravated and tried body-slamming it and biting it to get it to go away.   I’d never seen anything like that.  I was able to get a short video of part of their interaction, along with some still shots of the worm.

CLICK HERE to see the video.

And here are some still shots:

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Katydid Nymph

I let the dogs out into the backyard, and found this gorgeous little katydid nymph on the ivy along the fence.  (Yep, I carry my camera all the time.)  I’m always amazed with how much detail Mother Nature puts into these tiniest of things.  From the forms to the colors… they’re little masterpieces.



Walking at the WPA

I wanted to get out for a walk today before it got too hot, so Sergeant Margie and I were out the door to the WPA Rock Garden by about 6:15 am.  I got a lot of flower photos, and some bee pix.  The bees seemed to be pollen-crazy today, and were rolling in the flowers and whizzing all over the place; I don’t remember ever seeing them so hyper. I took some video of some of them…

Then the dog and I walked over to the duck pond behind the garden and found that the fountains were shut off there… so the water was like a mirror.  I saw a large vulture sitting near the edge of the pond eating something, so I walked over to see what he’d found.  There were two large (dead) carps laying on the ground, and the vulture had ripped some pretty big holes in them.  I couldn’t imagine the vulture going into the water to get them, so I’m not sure how they ended up where they were.  The only thing I could think of was that someone had fished them out, and then ran off, leaving them behind when the cops showed up or something… We also saw a couple of crayfish, but they darted into the water before I could get photos of them.  Heading back to the car, we came across a crop of milkweed that was starting to get pods on it.  I’ll have to keep an eye on those, and see if they attract any Monarch butterflies.  (They lay their eggs on the pods, and the caterpillars dine on the pods as soon as they’re born.)  We walked for about 2 hours and then headed back home for some breakfast.

Travels of a Certified California Naturalist

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