East Texas Naturalist Blog

Information and photographs mainly about nature in east Texas. Our authors have widely diverse backgrounds and write on a variety of topics.

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Here is an Nine Thousand Word Post

Here is an Nine Thousand Word Post
BumbleBee061216 (5 of 1)
CarpenterBeeOnFalseDandelion 062316 (8 of 1)
DolichopodidFly 062016 (2 of 1)
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RambursForktailDamselfly 062116 (1 of 1)
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TurkeyVulture 062016 (1 of 1)

I have been unusually busy lately so here I wanted to post a major article - here is the equivalent of 9,000 words.  That is, if indeed a picture is worth a thousand words.  

All of these images were taken within a couple of hundred yards of my front door.  

Female Green Anole

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Hitchhiking Bugs Don't Need Thumbs

Hitchhiking Bugs Don't Need Thumbs

My granddaughter found an interesting insect on her patio this weekend.  She is nine and loves "bugs".  She had her mother take a picture of it and send it to me so I can tell her what it is and why it had a baby riding on its back.  

What Lin had found is a walking stick.  To be precise, she had found a female walking stick who had a hitchhiker on its back.  The hitchhiker wasn't a baby, it was a male.  Ah, what an opportunity for talking about the birds and the walking sticks to a nine year old.  I don't believe my daughter took advantage of the perfect lead, but that really is not the point of this piece.

Walking sticks are really neat insects.  They are members of the family Phasmatidae and can be quite large.  The one pictured here, that my granddaughter found is nearly six inches long.  Well, the female is.  The hitchhiking male is more like two and a half inches.  They look very much like a small plant twig which is great camouflage.  Their movement is also very slow and steady which adds to their ability to remain inconspicuous. They also often remain motionless for long periods.  When disturbed, they often extend their legs and antenna which increases their appearance of being a twig.

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An Hour in the Bush and Look What I Found

An Hour in the Bush and Look What I Found
CuckooWasp061815
GreenDragonfly061815
macrobush061815

It rained hard earlier in the day which isn't exactly news.  It has rained almost everyday for over three months which is why we are 16 inches over the normal rainfall for the year.

Anyway, I was bored this afternoon so I grabbed the camera with the macro flash and prowled the bushes around the RV.  

Let me share a few of the shots I made such as the just mated pair of Sharpshooters, a type of plant hopper.

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