Flowers & Bugs

We call plants that self sow and sprout up on their own, Volunteers. All the Foxgloves in my yard are Volunteers and I never have the heart to pull any of them. They are highly poisonous but so very beautiful!

Climbing Hydrangea is blooming. It’s great in shady places, grows quickly and anchors itself to fencing. New plants are started easily with cuttings. It can be a bit aggressive.

I saw this big, glittery bug hanging by its feet from a spiderweb. Its wings were beating frantically. Without even thinking, I plucked it out of the web. The hind legs and one antennae were all stuck together. I didn’t want to leave it like that so I untangled it and got the stickiness off with my fingernail. It took a long time and I was afraid that I was hurting the poor thing. When I was finally done, the bug climbed a lily, checked himself over and then flew away. Does anyone know what kind of bug this is?

Ironically, while I was trying to help this bug I noticed a tic on my leg and mercilessly crushed it. image

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36 thoughts on “Flowers & Bugs

  1. Looks like a BIG bug, to me. Love the irony. Some bugs win, some lose. I surprised myself the other day with a similar reaction to a tick on me. Stepped out the front door, grabbed a rock and crushed it. Then paused and wondered about the ferociousness with which I behaved. Ticks have a way of hitting a nerve (hah! Literally!).

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  2. I love foxgloves – especially the ‘wild’ pink ones just like yours. We are lucky to have masses of them growing wild in the woods around our area. That is an impressive bug – looks like it’s lost a couple of legs in its escape from the web. I think it looks like some kind of ichneumon fly with that long ovipositor at the back … not the most pleasant of species πŸ˜‰

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    • I’ve never seen masses of wild foxglove in the woods here.. Sounds beautiful! This had 3 sets of legs, I didn’t notice anything that looked torn or missing. You are right, I think. It is an ichneumon fly. I just googled it. Sort of gross.

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  3. It’s not a mud dauber I’m afraid. That looks to me to be the Megarhyssa atrata. and a female one at that based on the long ovipositor. It’s a predatory wasp and she uses that long ovipositor to deposit eggs in the long skinny burrow and onto another species of wasp, the pigeon horntail.

    They are harmless to humans and pets, unlike the tick, so you have made a wise choice! In the world of insects, most wasps are of great service to mankind by dispatching garden pests.

    I get the occasional Tarantula Hawk in my backyard. It’s a two fold fear. Firstly, they are noted as the second most painful stink in the entire world. The first being the Bullet Ant. And secondly, if there are tarantula hawks in the garden, then it stands to reason that there are tarantula as well! *shivers*

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    • Yes, it looks exactly like the picture I just googled. The more I look at these images, the less appeal this bug has for me. I’m wondering why I ever handled it and let it crawl all over me. I googled the tarantula hawk too. How do you know all these things? Thank you, James. I’m glad know what this bug was. I thought it was a dragonfly. I’m also glad to learn a valuable lesson from all these bug facts… Not to touch any of them!

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      • I’m certain that she wouldn’t have hurt you at all. Her tiny insect mind was most likely very grateful for your kindness.

        As for me, I am addicted to collecting useless facts and data. Especially involving the natural world. And physics. And history. All the sciences. The list goes on. I just am beyond fascinated by this universe and want to absorb it all before I’m drooling and in diapers again.

        Entomology has always interested me and when I see a bug I can’t identify, I do my damnedest to figure it out. Knowing the proper nomenclature helps to identify new species for me.

        I also used to teach for the Upward Bound program back in New York for a few summers. An outdoor science ed. Class. Dichotomy keys were my best friends in order to teach the students how to identify plants and animals.

        If you’re ever in doubt, shoot me a photo and I’ll track it down for you. New species you discover we can co-name!

        The Cindifericus Gielowculus!

        Fear or discomfort from insects, or anything for that matter, typically stems from a lack of understanding. All things have a purpose and a place. Once you figure that out, then the fear slips away and awe takes its place. It’s a groovy world we live in!

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        • Thanks, James. You make a good point and I think you are right. A lack of understanding can easily lead to fear in many circumstances, especially if we factor ourselves too heavily into the equation. Thank you also for so generously sharing your knowledge. It is much appreciated!

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  4. I’ve always loved the term “volunteers.” I read it once in a novel & stole it & have used it ever since. After today, I will be using the term “ovipositor” in every possible conversation, thanks to James G.
    Excellent job with the wasp rescue, Cynthia. Bravo.

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  5. We have lots of foxgloves, but I didn’t know either the term Volunteer or of the poison. Lovely light rays in the top left corner. I had originally thought your bug might be some kind of dragonfly, because of the face. I thought the ovipositor ( didn’t know that either, James) might have been a bum that got a bit stretched in the web. Speaking of the web, I studied the site Judy recommended, so now I will know one when I see one. Great shot of your bug, too Cynthia.

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    • I’m not brave, I thought it was a dragonfly. If it was a rodent caught in a web I would have run away gagging. I won’t be touching any unidentifiable creatures in the future

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  6. Ah that was a great read and info also from the comments πŸ™‚
    Foxgloves grow wild here all over the place, in the garden they come also by themselves, I find them so beautiful too. Lovely photo and interesting insect, it does not look familiar in the least. Good to know what it is.

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  7. Hahaha!!! I would say poor tic except that I’d have squashed it too!! My foxglove did not come back this year or last…I may need to find new seeds to start next winter – they are so pretty!

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  8. I don’t recognize it, but what a beautiful creature. Wasps are beneficials in the garden, so it’s good that you spared it. As for ticks, show them no mercy! πŸ™‚

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  9. Don;t know what kind of bug that is but its a beauty and thankful you helped him or her. I love your foxgloves. They grew here for a while and as my soil became richer they vanished. I think I should leave a space free of manure so some of my favorites can grow.

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