Head of Ranch Security

Buttercup has great admiration for Hank the Cowdog and seeks to emulate him – or even surpass him.

Buttercup - 2011

She has a great sidekick in Zookie. Actually, Tiger may be more of a sidekick than Zoo, since he is more the intrepid explorer type than she.

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Accidental Weathervane

This is the same feather from another angle – I liked the little glints of sunlight off the soft, plumulaceous barbs. Plumulaceous barbs: the part that looks like down and does not stick together.

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Swinging in the Wind - Small Weathervane

I was having trouble recalling that word, so I consulted The Feather Atlas, an online resource maintained by the US Fish and Wildlife service. Here is a link: http://www.lab.fws.gov/fa/glossary.php

Worker Bee

She’s busy as a bee! I was out of town, out of state, actually, and had just a little downtime, so I took a stroll with my camera. It was that wonderful golden hour as the sun sinks to the horizon, and there she was with her sisters, busily trying to collect as much nectar as possible before curfew. Her bread baskets are full of pollen, too.

Beautiful Honey Bee - 2011

Holy Canoli! What IS That?

Here’s a flashback for you. So, there I sat on the pond bank, stalking the ever wary dragon fly and damsel fly (really, I am not picky, I’ll shoot whichever will light close enough and hold still long enough!), when I turned my head and spotted this guy on a leaf really close to my head. Moving slowly, so as not to scare it off (never had I seen anything resembling this critter), I turned and focused the camera. Voila! French is not my language, so ほら!すごい虫ですねえ。

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Wheel Bug - Summer 2011 - Arilus Cristatus

Well, I just called it a prehistoric-looking bug, but my friend Travis did a Google Search and came up with the common name, scientific name, and an article about the beast. It turns out it is a “true bug,” something my Dad had tried to tell me about once – that there were insects that were truly bugs, and insects that were not – a member of the Assassin Bug family. And look there on its proboscis, a little assassinated insect from which it is presumably drinking the juices!

I was so excited to make a new (to me) discovery! And there were wheel bugs all around me, once I started looking. They are really quite a large insect, I don’t know how I never noticed them before. What an absorbing hour of shooting that was 🙂