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。


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 🙂


Teal ducks? A blue heron? That large buck drinking? Something was here. It left as I climbed the pond bank, leaving only the widening ripples as evidence that it had been here. Soon they smoothed out and the pond was once again smooth as glass, reflecting the changing sky as the sun slowly rose.


Sunrise at the Pond on the Back Forty - Winter 2012