Looking for Bugs . . .

in all the wrong places (1).  Bugs we’ve seen who park upon, attach themselves to, squeeze into, and otherwise make use of non-natural spaces.

Cicada Emerging at Night – Note they’re much more colorful at this stage, than when they are buzzing as mature adults. From cell phone:

Before the buzz

Before the buzz

All bugs that actually entered buildings were given safe escort to the outdoors. No bugs were harmed in the making of these pictures, though two were deceased when found. Moths heavily represented; ideas on identification are welcome. Anyone who feels bugged by viewing bugs should skip this post! Oh, and there’s one snake.

My cat Bud will grace us with a cameo appearance, as a special favor.

The photos won’t always be in good focus because bugs are flighty and squiggly. And because I’m not a photographer, I’m a painter. I mostly use a Canon now, unless otherwise designated. All are copyrighted 2015 but a few are from earlier years.

It’s around midnight, in the warm, spacious dark; cell phone:

This takes a really long time.

This takes a really long time

They have all this, nearby; lots of cool branches, plenty of snug underbrush. Go figure why one would adhere itself to a railing to transition! (Back to Canon unless otherwise noted)

Perfect for bugs

Green forests are perfect for bugs

Another night, another cicada still showing a trace of newly minted coloration. Cicada with mood lighting:

A casual night, we can scree later

A casual night, we can scree later

Near as I can tell from the guidebook and the online image galleries, this moth most resembles “The Hebrew Moth”, but has broader bans of black. Night visitor, gently guided onto paper towels, photographed, then set free:

There's an art to edging a paper towel under a moth

There’s an art to edging a paper towel under a moth

Blue Dasher Dragonfly, choosing the back of a yard chair to light upon, consistently:

Comfortably settled

Comfortably settled

Partaking of tasty mosquitoes (we hope)

Partaking of tasty mosquitoes (we hope)

Polyphemous Moth, outside at night as it should be, except … it’s on my husband’s shirt, catching a ride:

A smooth ride

A smooth ride

Vintage photo of Polyphemous Moth inside at night, 2012, Kodak digital camera. This moth appears to have some damage, from whatever eats moths out there in the deep dark woods:

Polyphemous moth

Polyphemous Moth

Antlion, or Antlion Lacewing, interior window. Opinions differ as to weather the name ‘doodlebug’ refers to the larval stage or to the Antlion itself:

Antlion Lacewing

Antlion Lacewing

This Antlion was found deceased in 2013:

Antlion found deceased

Antlion found deceased

Moths seek light, I don’t know why. Scientists don’t really know, either, from what I’ve read. Lovely earthy brown-toned moths make for innovative wall decor. It’s hard to find info to identify these:

Flexing wings

Flexing wings

Very textural wings on this one

Very textural wings on this one

On kitchen cabinet:

Secure on blue

Secure on blue

From old Kodak digital:

Unusual and feathery

Unusual and feathery

The Pink Striped Oakworm Moth places her eggs on the undersides of oak leaves. This poor moth never made it to the tall oak tree about 40 feet away. Found outside on a landing in the morning, she was either attacked by a predator, or accidently stepped on in the dark. Her eggs were scattered around her. It’s ‘circle of life’, but it’s sorrowful to me, that part of the natural world. My husband carefully gathered up the eggs on a piece of paper and placed them in a container, with oak leaves, in case there is still a chance they could become caterpillars. More about this species here: http://www.hiltonpond.org/thisweek080316.html

Pink Striped Oakworm Moth

Pink Striped Oakworm Moth

Sad moth

Sad moth

Some vintage photos of moths, both drawn to windows of lighted rooms when they landed; lights were turned off by me when I went to take photos. Luna Moth, on glass, outside, taken with old Kodak camera:

Luna Moth on glass

Luna Moth

Imperial Moth on glass, outside, taken in the 80s with an old Minolta film camera:

Imperial Moth

Imperial Moth

We used to see the above two species often, but they’ve absent for several years.

One recent morning I got up, sat down at the computer, looked out the window, and saw a snake climbing up the house! In the wrong place, that one! My husband wrangled him off the house and into a plastic tub using a snake-loop. He is experienced at this. DON’T try this yourself, call an animal control expert. He then took the snake away from the house, and we took pictures as we waited for the snake to release himself. General consensus of opinion is, this was a rat snake, which is not poisonous; still, all snakes will bite.

Pretty long!

Pretty long!

Zoomed in

Zoomed in

Rising towards escape. The snake tongue kept flickering – to sniff out the surroundings  – and is faintly visible below. I kept missing it every time!

Beneficial rat snake finds his way to the woods

Beneficial rat snake finds his way to the woods

Mighty cat Bud, with a little age on him, no longer looks for bugs himself. So our bug rescue and eviction is more leisurely now. Here, he’s a bit disgruntled that he isn’t heading up this post. He feels it should’ve been titled “Looking for Bud …” He doesn’t take my point that he’s always in the right place. Maybe next time, Buddy!

Something has caught Bud's eye

Something has caught Bud’s eye

Bud’s looking to get top billing next post!

______________________________________________________________

  1. “Lookin’ for Love” (“in all the wrong places”), by Wanda Mallette, Bob Morrison, and Patti Ryan, 1980.
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About Catwoods

I'm a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
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43 Responses to Looking for Bugs . . .

  1. chattykerry says:

    Someone just commented about cicadas on my blog and I thought about you, They have finally stopped chirping – do they hibernate? We recently got an infra-red camera and have the funniest videos of our mama Possum (raccoons, cats, baby possums, a rat) spitting out very expensive Kalamata olives but devouring sauteed potatoes. We hear the skunks tonight so have put out some apple slices and dried green lipped mussels – a critter banquet. Love K x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catwoods says:

      We have mainly annual cicadas. Adult cicadas die off every year, but they will have laid eggs which hatch into nymphs and burrow underground where they stay through the winter, then emerge in spring and shed the exoskeleton, which is what you see in my pictures. This link has fascinating detail about the cycle: http://entomology.osu.edu/bugdoc/PerioCicada/PeriCicadaBehav.htm

      I love the sound of the cicadas, though not everyone does!

      What fun to see all those animals! We’ve seen quite a few over they years, but haven’t actually caught any on infrared camera yet. Never actually saw skunks, but did detect the odor occasionally, where one had walked by.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. cb says:

    Wow … National Geographic quality. Vibrant color. Amazing what cell phone cameras can capture these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lots of fabulous shots of superb insects! And Bud, of course, looking debonair! 🙂
    xo
    Kathryn

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your blog is fascinating! I’m glad you stopped by mine so I could find you. Looking forward to more posts here. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Charlotte! I am enjoying your blog also, and will look forward to exploring it further as time opens up. BTW I love your gravatar!

      Like

  5. I was hoping the bugs and snakes were gone by now. I see I gave you a ‘like’ but it was for technique and not subject matter–I realllllly dislike the snakes! Enter your comment here…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catwoods says:

      LOL, thanks for the ‘like’ even though you aren’t fond of the crawlies and buzzies, Greg. I know everyone has a different reaction. I’m just used to them, being a long time forest-dweller. I don’t post very fast, but maybe I’ll have some more pics of my Budcat up soon. Bud says, he’d like that!

      Like

  6. Just amazing bugs but I’m glad I don’t live at your house!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. chattykerry says:

    You have totally freaked me out and now I can’t visit you! 🙂 Terrified of Cicadas (although love the noise), phobic about moths but love the cat and snake. K x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catwoods says:

      Didn’t mean to freak anyone out :-), but I know everyone has differing reactions to the insect world, and living right in the forest with all kinds of ‘wildlife’ takes some getting used to. I enjoy the colorful flying bugs and I’ve learned to enjoy even the snakes, if they’re not poisonous. Many don’t though. Hoping Bud the kitty made up for the others! Felines are my absolute favorite ‘wildlife’.

      Liked by 1 person

      • chattykerry says:

        My husband will absolutely love this blog. It is just cicadas and moths that make my skin crawl. I love spiders, beetles and other creepy crawlies. May I send you three elderly demented Egyptian pussy cats who are driving me crazy? I will just Fedex them…:)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Catwoods says:

          I don’t mind the spiders and beetles so much, but I’m a little wary of spiders since some of those are also poisonous. A few caterpillars are, too. Know what you mean about older kitties, they can be sweet but my older boy Bud is getting crankier.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. RMW says:

    That is quite a collection… I have a fear of moths but I don’t why… unfortunately one of my cats loves to bring them into the bedroom at night! Maybe Bud could have a word with him…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catwoods says:

      LOL, RNW, Bud was once an ace mothcatcher. I’d try to stop him, but he was fast. His advice might be moth-catching tips … He’s older and more settled now, so doesn’t chase bugs as much.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, I didn’t know cicadas had those luminescent wings! Lovely!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. DS Levy says:

    These are wonderful photos of insects, Leah! Love that blue color of the cicada. Your photos reminded me of when I had to have a “bug collection” project for junior high. I really got into it — although I felt badly for all of the poor insects I had to pin to a styrofoam board! Now … that snake! Yikes! I have an awful fear of them, but I’m happy to say I was able to quickly-quickly look and scroll those this fella’s photo! Hope you’re having a nice end of summer — not too hot, not too cold, just right! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catwoods says:

      Glad you enjoyed this buggy post! We have bugs that are pretty and colorful, and some that aren’t. I’m fortunate to have somehow missed out on “bug collection” in school! I’m never happy to see snakes around, but have learned to remain calm if I can be convinced a snake in front of me is not poisonous! This is the second snake I’ve actually photographed, although I’ve lost count of the numbers I’ve actually seen. We’re catching a break with cooler than usual weather this time of year, but foliage changes do seem to be occurring more rapidly, and that’s a little sad for me. I like summer … except for ticks and mosquitoes! Everyone else can’t wait for fall. Hope you are enjoying great weather and feeling good about the changes.

      Like

      • DS Levy says:

        Leah, my husband and I are contemplating moving to our cabin in Michigan and the one real fear — the main one, actually — is of having to live with snakes. I know I should embrace this fear, not let it get the best of me, control me, etc. But darnit all if I don’t just panic whenever I see one (which fortunately hasn’t been too often … yet). I’m very impressed with your bravery to actually take a photo of one! I’m waiting for the cold weather to chase those darn slithery things back underground, 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Catwoods says:

          I know what you mean about the snakes because the poisonous ones, which have been seen here on occasion, totally freak me out. One thing that helped me was to get a guidebook and learn which are venomous and which aren’t. Those who aren’t will eat rodents and sometimes, other snakes. Also, all snake pics were very zoomed! Remote living is a mixed bag. Isolation has always been difficult for me, but when younger and healthier, I could get out more. It’s a different way of life from urban and suburban living, but has many perks.

          Like

          • DS Levy says:

            Good advice about snakes … but … I’m one of those people for whom a “snake” is a snake is a snake, LOL. Good, bad, indifferent — they all give me the creeps! And I hear what you’re saying about remote living. I’m really concerned about that. Our cabin isn’t so far out, but it’s not like city living and its amenities to be sure. It’s a tough, tough decision. Fortunately we don’t have to make it immediately.

            Liked by 1 person

  11. Joyful2bee says:

    As a bug lover, nature lover and a photographer, WOW! Great shots! Love your and your husband’s attitude toward all creatures. Thank you for sharing. Really enjoyed these photos. Have you ever been to a butterfly house? I giggle and feel like I am in heaven with all of those beautiful creatures fluttering around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Joyful2bee; and I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! Love your description of the butterfly house. I’ve never been, but it does sound ‘right up my alley’.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. cat9984 says:

    Beautiful pictures. My cats would have made snacks of any of these guys that had gotten into the house. Apparently moths are particularly tasty to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. sunsetdragon says:

    Oh man you certainly do have your share of winged and slithering intruders. The bugs yes, the snake OMG!! no.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Cate says:

    Love that you tried to save the moth eggs. Good souls, you two humans. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Catwoods says:

      Oh thank you Cate! We have so few moths compared to prior years. We don’t use pesticides or herbicides ourselves, and most of the neighborhood does not either. Still, widespread environmental factors are taking a toll.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. arlingwoman says:

    What beautiful photos of flying insects! And a snake as well. Bud looks, well, a bit disgruntled that his insects are getting away…

    Liked by 1 person

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