Sunday, October 16, 2016

Frogs, Bugs, and Arachnids, Oh My!

I've been busy settling into a new full-time job, and certainly having a full-time job has been a fine thing; however, I've somehow fallen behind in everything else I do. And here it is ruddy October already. Oh well. Here are a few of the animals I met on safari in the garden this past summer.

This guy showed up in a drain at the top of our driveway, hopping up and down and bashing his head against the grate.  I caught him and hung on to him long enough to get a photo. Above, he's briefly escaped and sitting, astonished, before I caught him again.

I am pretty sure he is a green frog. OK, don't try and get funny with me. I know he is a frog. I know he is green. I mean a green frog, as in Rana clamitans. Green frogs are native to the eastern United States but now found in parts of Washington State. Such as our drainage ditch. I, too, am native to the eastern United States, so we had quite a friendly chat before I set him free.  We often hear him croaking loudly on damp evenings.

Gracious. Would you just look at what's going on in the daisy patch.  I'm afraid all I can tell you is that these are beetles. My field guides and the Internet are letting me down big time, hence no more specific identification. Whatever they are, they are making more of themselves. They also trundle about the daisies covered with pollen so they're helping to make more daisies, too.
Sometimes the whatever-they-are beetles get all shy and stuff, and hide, which is rather ridiculous seeing as to what they're perfectly happy getting up to right in the town square.
This fat little fellow is a well-fed aphid.
One of our many garden snails enjoying an ooze along a rock on a very wet day.

I can't see the pattern on the head of this lady beetle, so I can't tell you if it is a spotless lady beetle, even though it is obviously spotless, because it could be a spotless spotted beetle.

This may be a six-spotted orb weaver. Or it may not. I often see crab spiders but this doesn' t look like any of those even though this capture of a bee is typical of crab spiders. (Alas, crab spider photos from this summer are probably  miscatalogued and I can't find them....)  But there appears to be webbing over the unfortunate bee's abdomen, which lends credence to the orb-weaver bit. The daisy petals were curled around the grisly scene. 

I was wondering who was chewing the petals neatly off the daisies and then gobbling their interiors. I found this guy scooping up the yellow area as if he were face first in a big bowl of lemon custard.

A European garden spider checks out the center of a cosmos.

A hoverfly sips nectar from one of the dahlias. Completely harmless but looks like a bee so that predators and nosy people hesitate to come close.

This cheerful guy was perched on my Subaru window one summer morning. All I can tell you is that it's a katydid. I'm afraid my so-called "Insects of the Pacific Northwest" field guide has only about 5 orthopterans in it, and green katydids aren't among them. He was very large and had splendid antennae.
A leafhopper tiptoes along a 'Munstead White' columbine.