Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Back to the Bugs

I may have gone a little overboard with my last post. Well, maybe not overboard so much as rambling. I get so excited about things that interest me, like the brain, and there's so much to know and learn, I get a little carried away.

Anyway, I have been trying to find some cool bugs to show you. Many of us have seen these little clumps of baby spiders in cracks and crevices. They are another source of amusement for me. If you disturb the clump, the spiders disperse. This is a defense mechanism; if a predator, like a bird comes along, it is likely to get fewer of the spiders if they run away in different directions. When the danger passes, they come together again. A few days after the babies have hatched, they release a thread of silk and are carried away by the wind.

I found a crane fly larva the other day and took it home to look at more closely under the microscope. Crane flies look like daddy long legs, only with wings. The larvae live in the soil and can cause damage to grass and flower roots. When it rains, they surface, like earthworms, to avoid suffocation. And the birds have a feast. Anyway, if you look at the video closely, you can see the back end of this one and as an added bonus, there's a tiny beetle crawling around its butt.

I came across some wild blue flag iris when the Wookie and I were on a Sunday drive and a few weeks ago we came across a small family of Canada geese. I rarely see these magnificent birds in this part of the world. The geese land an hour north of me as a rule, so when I do see them, they're on their way to and from their summer homes, too high in the air to get a decent picture.

On the biking front, I'm trying to get physically ready for the bike tour, which is coming up July 23 and 24. 10 k is my max so far, since the weather has been so crappy
it's really hard to get out. I can walk or hike in anything, but it's more dangerous cycling so prefer days that aren't raining. We've had an extraordinarily wet spring.
Of course, my fund raising is underway. Feel free to contribute by clicking on the link on the right. One of my instructors this past year is also doing the Bike Tour. I have to admit that my highest mark last semester was in his class. Blair rides for another team, but once he sees how much fun the Cycledelics have, I may be able to convince him to cross over to the dark side.



kmilyun said...

Bugs are cool! Bugs are great!
Love the vids!

Erin Alexis said...

You'd love the bugs in Vietnam. I'm horrified...but you'd love them.

Shauna said...

I'm hoping you're taking lots of pictures to show me, Erin....especially of the beetles and butterflies.