Posts tagged: insects
WILDLIFE WATCHING — It will be months before another crop of aphids tries to take over our gardens, orchards and landscaping while nourishing birds and other creatures.
But Brian Plonka, former S-R photographer turned freelance cinematographer, created this short, mesmerizing feature during an aphid hatch around Hauser Lake that makes me long for the day the bugs will return.
CRITTERS — Stinging insects haven’t eased their attack since the newspaper reported on the season of the wasp two weeks ago.
“The bald-faced hornets and yellowjackets are as bad as I've seen in my life on the Coeur d’Alene River,” said fly fishing guide G.L. Britton. “I expect to be stung every day out!”
Pesky yellowjackets drove Steve and Carol Weinberger out of Sam Owen Campground to eat a peaceful meal at a Lake Pend Oreille restaurant. “A waiter at the Beyond Hope resort said it was so bad on the restaurant deck they called an exterminator,” Steve said.
“A road construction flagger said she had been stung five times last week.”
Chuck Dunning set a personal record this week near Fruitland, being stung nine times in a day: “My hand feels like someone hit it with a hammer!”
Britton has found at least one ally: “I’ve seen pics of hummingbirds tongue lassoing wasps ahead of the stingers and slicing off the danger.
“Last week, a rufous hummer took a paper wasp 3 feet from my face. After five seconds of squealing with action so fast I couldn't discern the strategy, the bird was swallowed the wasp.”
NATURE — Moths come in a stunning spectrum of colors and varieties, and there's no better time to set your radar for them than now, during National Moth Week.
The authors of “Moths of Western North America” estimate that 7,000 to 8,000 named species of moths live in the west, with another 3,000 unidentified species potentially left to discover. Compare that to the 200-plus species of butterflies that live in Northeastern Washington and you get an impression of their sheer diversity, says Chris Loggers, wildlife biologist for the Colville National Forest.
“Both finders took good photographs with their cellphones, which helps immensely with identification.”
To learn more about moths, check out:
Loggers also recommends a great book on moths in our area, “Moths of Western North America” by Powell and Opler.
“If you find a moth that piques your interest, bring it by (to the office in Kettle Falls); I probably won’t identify it for you but you can grab a book and explore their diversity.
HUNTING — Before last weekend, I had no trouble sitting still waiting for a gobbler to work its way in to a call.
But Wednesday it was taken by surprise with the hatch of mosquitoes triggered by the recent warm spell.
I didn't have repellent.
Sitting still required more effort, looking down my shotgun barrel with the blurred silhouette of a skeeter rump on my nose.
Native plants bugged by interesting visitors
FLORA – Pollination and other services provided to native plants by insects will be explored in a free program by Nan Vance, retired Forest Service research plant scientist, 7 p.m., May 9 at Gladdish Community Center in, Pullman WA.
Info: (208) 874-3205.
FISHING — Western Montana wildlife photographer Jaime Johnson could have written all fly fishers an announcement that it's time to come to Montana.
Instead, he sent this photo of a salmon fly, looking like the cover photo on a gourmet food magazine for trout.
FISHING — A friend to took advantage of Tuesday's window of decent weather for an unplanned trip to sample the fly fishing at Crab Creek in Lincoln County.
Although he'd been to the creek and had decent success two weeks earlier, the water was off-color on Tuesday from the recent rain and the fishing was poor, he said.
“I was going to quit but then caught a nice fish so kept going,” he said. “Did not get another.”
But that's not to say he got skunked in every department.
“Part way through the day I stopped counting the number of ticks removed from my clothing at 100,” said.
Brave guy. When he was at Crab Creek in March, he picked off dozens of ticks in the field, in his vehicle on the drive, and still found four on his chest back home. Then he left on a ski vacation a week later, and found another attached in his scalp. He figures his car still holds Crab Creek ticks waiting their turn.
When he got home, his wife told him she found several in the sheets when she changed the bedding.
Be careful out there.
WILDLIFE WATCHING — Spokane butterfly expert John Baumann will present a free program about butterflies of the Inland Northwest on Wednesday sponsored by the Spokane Audubon Society.
The rogram is set for 7 p.m. at Riverview Community Building, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave., off Upriver Drive.
Continue reading for detailed directions.
NATURE — Here's an event to make your heart flutter:
Youngsters and novices are welcome to join the fun at the Washington Butterfly Association's 12th annual conference, July 15-17, at the Pend Oreille Playhouse in Newport.
The schedule includes:
NATURE — Butterfly enthusiasts have developed a cool Butterflies and Moths of North America website that produces checklists of butterfly species documented for general or specific areas.
For example, by filling in the blanks on the site, one can see the 91 butterfly species that have been found in Spokane County over the years, as well as the list of 158 species documented in Washington.
In case you didn't see my Sunday feature on local butterfly groups, don't miss the “Wings of Beauty” program on butterflies April 14, 7 p.m., at the Spokane County Extension, 222 N. Havana St.
It's free, but sign up in advance by calling 477-2048 or email email@example.com
Other good sites to explore include: