When I see an interesting insect or spider in the garden, I like to take photos of it. I've said it before, but I'm always amazed at the variety of insects that I can find in my own yard. Usually all you have to do is stop wherever you are in the garden and take a close look.
I've seen a lot of little grasshoppers lately, as well as several other interesting "bugs", so let's see what I've found.
Grasshopper on a bamboo leaf -- just seems right somehow, doesn't it? How about a little haiku...
Maybe it's just a little older (or younger?) than the other one.
This one may be the same species too, but seems like it's even older:
Here's a completely different grasshopper that has to be one of the most interesting I'll see this year:
Look at the intricate markings on it! Wow!
This one isn't a grasshopper, but it's related. It's a red-headed bush cricket I believe:
I've seen several of these caterpillars recently:
This one is up in a hyacinth bean vine:
I'm tempted to capture it, keep it in a jar, and see what sort of butterfly or moth it turns into. I can probably find out by researching on the Internet, but that's not as much fun, is it? (Plus it's really eating a lot of leaves, and this vine doesn't have many to spare.)
Here are a couple of different spikey bugs -- no idea what they are:
I do know that I certainly don't want to touch them. I'm pretty cautious about touching any insects or caterpillars that I haven't researched, and it's all because of this guy:
This is a saddleback caterpillar eating one of my bamboo leaves. In September 2008 I was introduced to this guy when I was planting some small bamboo plants (Sasa veitchii if you're interested). I brushed up against a leaf and felt a little pain -- I thought I cut myself on the leaf's sharp edge. A minute later I felt it again, but this time much worse. Much, much worse. It was burning and stinging like crazy -- I thought my hand was going to burst into flames!
After reading about it later I discovered that the spines on the back of this caterpillar contain a potent toxin that can cause severe pain if touched. I can definitely vouch for that! So now I'm extra cautious around any caterpillars or insects I'm not familiar with. (Although the ones you can't see are probably more of a hazard.)
OK, back to 2010. There are so many different small flies and bees around, but they're all so hard to get photos of as they're almost constantly moving. I caught this one at a good time it seems:
The final photo I have to share is also of a fly -- a hoverfly.
Unfortunately for the hoverfly, the photo also contains the little spider that caught him. Unlucky for the fly but lucky for me, as this is the kind of scene that must be going on dozens or hundreds of times each day throughout my garden, but I so rarely get a chance to see it.
I've seen these little crab spiders hiding in flowers before, and always wondered if they ever caught anything, and if so, what it was. Now I know -- I just had to pay attention and take a closer look.