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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Little Bug Season

Ready from the word "go"
We've got the rain, the heavy air laden with humidity, the overcast skies and an abundance of plant life.  Now all we need are the swarms of gnats and punkies to put the annoyance icing on the cake, so to speak.  Well, no need to wait any longer.  The little bugs were swarming all over out there today, tiny black insects that sounded like a dentist's drill in my ear, miniscule pests that were drowning in the sweat from my brow.  Oh how I love monsoon season in the desert.
A large Tarantula Hawk

The hole the Tarantula Hawk was hanging around

This Tarantula Hawk was nearly 2" long

Need a laxative?  Try Senna

A lush Chihuahuan Desert

Nose welded to the ground

On the road around Tortugas

Devil's Claw (aka "Unicorn Plant" Proboscidea altheaefolia)

Closeup of a Devil's Claw flower

A forest of healthy Ocoillos

Devil's Head (Echinocactus) about to bloom

Velvety Nerisyrenia (Mustard plant)

6 comments:

Dr. K said...

Beautiful photo of the devil's claw flower.

Tonia said...

Oh dem pesky pests. We seem to have millions of little midges at the moment. So samll they come through out fly screens or maybe the tiny gaps around them.

(Quite a few of them on Autho now - humourless so & so's. )

Gorgeous photos as ever, Rob.

Scott said...

I know whereof you speak about the gnats, Packrat. We've got a bumper crop right now (right on schedule) that gather in large spherical swarms in open areas near streams. I've got a favorite bicycling route along my creek, and this time of year is challenging because it's impossible to avoid the gnats. However, they don't bite or hang around my ears, so they're innocuous in those ways.

The Devil's Claw flower images are gorgeous. I wonder what the species name (i.e., althaefolia) means? Obviously, something related to the leaves.

Keep Becca far away from the Senna!

We've got a wasp here in the East that does the same thing as your Tarantula Hawk. It's a very large, intimidating beast called a Cicada Killer that paralyses and entombs cicadas in an earthen lair. They're much more robust than the Tarantula Hawk. I doubt that they would mistake me for a cicada, but I still steer well clear of them.

packrat said...

Thanks, Dr. K. They don't last long so I'm shooting a lot of photos of them.

packrat said...

Great to hear from you, Tonia. Thanks. So you've got a lot of no-see-ums down in Oz, huh? I really hope to get down to Australia sometime--not to see the midges, mind you.

:)

packrat said...

Thanks, Scott. Devil's Claw is a fascinating plant, especially regarding the way it disperses it's seeds--using a "claw" that attaches itself to animals. I'll have to do some research on "althaefolia." Speaking of gnats, I hate when you walk (or ride) into a swarm without realizing it. If you're walking you can wave your arms around like a mad man, but I wouldn't recommend it while riding a bike.

:)

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