Garden Visitors (Post Pics If You Can)

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dtrammel
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In another thread I posted this picture of a bumble bee who has discovered my garden.

GW member Magpie said "This is good enough to get a solid ID--it's Bombus impatiens!

LOL gotta love the Latin names for things.

Anyway here are some new pictures of the critters that are visiting my garden. If you can, please post some of the ones visiting yours.

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A new Bumble Bee I believe.

She has a big shiny butt, which is why I think she is a different species.

Here's one that's a bit more "bee" size.

She's been in and out all morning along with several friends.

Now these ladies are "tiny" BUT all over.

They are into the flowers so I think they might be bees too.

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I had a very hugh wolf spider crawl up to say hello on the air conditioner, but by the time I grabbed the camera she had crawled over the edge. She was easily the size of my thumbnail. When I got around to seeing her, she had obviously found prey. She had a daddy long legs spider in her mouth and was headed for someplace to have lunch. The picture came out bad, sorry.

Wolf spiders are like tiny tanks, all shuffle shuffle move and pounch. LOL, they need like tiny main cannons on their backs then they would be absolutely bad ass.

I like seeing many predators in my garden, from spiders to praying mantis because a garden that can support predators is a garden that is also supporting a wide variety of insects that those same predators eat. Its when your predators strave, that you have a sick garden.

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One other critter.

While I was watering today I heard a soft "thump" and suddenly feathers were raining down. I looked up and saw a falcon/hawk had scored a kill on one of the birds that sits on the roof edge when I'm out there, Given the grey feathers I suspect it was one of the small mock doves which are around.

She winged away with her lunch in her claws before I could snap a pic.

---

More pictures as my visitors come out.

Garden Housewife
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Sick Child likes your Pictures

My son, who has a nasty stomach virus with fever and vomiting, really likes your pictures.  They distracted him from how sick he is for a just few minutes.  Thank you very much for that!

I especially wanted to show him the picture of the bumblebee since I've seen so many of them on the white clover in our yard.  He pointed to the honeybee pictures and said he'd seen some of them too.  I haven't seen honeybees in our yard, but I'm not outside as much as he is.

Our yard also seems to be somewhat of a lightning bug sanctuary.  I'm going to start a thread on that later, when I get a chance.  Right now I need to get offline and take his temperature.  I think the Tylenol I gave him earlier has worn off.

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dtrammel
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Hope He Feels Better Soon

In the meantime here's a few more from the last week that he can enjoy. See if he can identify my returning visitors.

This one was a good picture of her in flight though if I had waited a tiny second, she would have been over a lighter background and we could see her better.

Someone's tummy is full, LOL.

Back for breakfast

Someone else is back.

 

Now two new visitors:

He looks like he's wearing a t-shirt over his top, LOL. I tried to get him to move, but when I touched him he curled up and droppedto the ground.

And a butterfly.

She's in the shade, but the white part of her wing is actually that lightly golden color you see in the unshaded section. Butterflies are very hard to get a picture of because they flirt around so much, never landing for more than a second or two.

Garden Housewife
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I showed these to him a

I showed these to him a couple days ago, but didn't have time to comment.  He loved them!  He recognized that some of them were the same, but couldn't remember their names.  So we went through the previous pictures again and matched the new pics up with the old ones and with their names.

He's really interested in bugs lately.  He's been observing them a lot when outside playing.  He also catches some and watches them for a little while before letting them go.  In homeschooling, we studied a really good children's book about bugs.  I think that helped spark his interest.

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ClareBroommaker
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Ladybug?

I'm thinking that next-to-last photo is a ladybug.

Garden Housewife
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I kind of wondered the same.

I kind of wondered the same.  Does anyone know if that is a ladybug?

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Magpie
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Yep

It's a ladybug pupa--in a few days it will become the adult beetle!

Garden Housewife
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Awww!  :-)

Awww!  :-)

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dtrammel
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Some larger winged visitors

I had several new bees/insects but they all were complete teases. As soon as I grabbed the camera, got close, they would be flying off...

I did catch these two photos of a mated robin pair with a nearby nest. They built it like many birds do, on the top of the rain gutter spout. Its a nice location since its flate, wide and under cover.

Daddy came home with a beak full of insects.

They have at least one chick. I didn't get any closer as not to stress them. Though LOL, the look the smaller one, which I assume is the female has, in this second picture is so like so many I've seen on human women, dealing with new born children.

AKA: "OMG Will this devil child please shut up!!!!!!"

LOL

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Magpie
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More identifications!

The Latin names can be quite amusing at times! Unfortunately, for many of our common garden visitors, the "common names" don't exist or have been invented whole cloth by bee conservation efforts in the last decade or so.

Bombus impatiens is commonly called the common eastern bumble bee.

The second photo is actually not a bumble bee at all. The lack of hair on the abdomen means you have a carpenter bee! It looks like you have a female eastern carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica). These bees are notorious in the more southern states, as you can hear them burrowing into the timber of buildings. However, they prefer rotten wood and can be a warning sign that you have dry rot in your home. They are excellent pollinators and can be encouraged by keeping rotten stumps/logs in your garden (which will also discourage them from attacking your home as a side-benefit).

The next one is our friend the European honey bee (Apis mellifera), which we've domesticated for pollination services and honey production. She very likely belongs to a managed hive somewhere within five miles of your home.

The last are a pair of hover flies (family Syrphidae)! The top is a male, and the bottom is probably female. These guys are awesome in the garden as their maggots are actually predators of aphids as well as other garden pests and the adults are pollinators. Farmers and scientists are just starting to realize their role in agricultural pollination, and for some crops (carrot, brassicas, etc) they may actually do as well as honey bees. I have found that the species local to me will hang around as long as there is an abundance of open, easy-to-access flowers (like the ones pictured, but they also like asters such as daisies and dandelions).

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ClareBroommaker
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Insects aside, I hope you see

Insects aside, I hope you see that you have seed capsules just beginning to develop on your purslanes. See the tiny green cones where the flowers dropped off?  Those will expand and turn brown when green.  Seeds within are like black grit.

dtrammel
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Thanks

I'll look for those.

dtrammel
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Two New Visitors

Ninja Bee...

 

And the Golden One...

Does she look happy or what?

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Magpie
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Lovely pictures!

I am really glad you're taking photos of your local bees. The top one is a female leafcutter bee (family Megachilidae)--they nest in hollow twigs and create little incubation capsules for their young out of leaf clippings.

The second is a female metallic green sweat bee (genus Agapostemon). They nest in bare soil and create long, complex underground tunnels with chambers for the next generation. Check the bare earth around your property to see if there are any bee-sized holes--you might see some flying in and out!

Cathy McGuire
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Nice photos!!

Good job on the photos! It's hard to get that close up. My problem with posting photos is that they have to be somewhere first, and I don't have a FB page or anything. Where do you upload your photos to?

dtrammel
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LOL, Credit Cards

When my old Pentex crapped out, I decided I didn't want one of those carry in your pocket and shoot things cameras, so I splurged. What is over time for if not to get toys? The new one is a Nikon B500, just a step down from a full SLR, with a great zoom. I knew here on the GW site I would be doing alot of photos so I wanted something good.

(It helps that the original photos were in the 4000x4000 pixel size, I just cropped the area with the bee, which end up being in the 500x500 pixel range.)

It sometimes takes the camera a second or two, to auto focus at the depth I want but it has some nice thru the lense overlays to tell me what its focused on. Moving my hand in and out, will usually lock it onto the insect.

As for photo hosts, I recommend Photobucket. They are free and have some simple editing software with the account. I will do a tutorial with screen captures to walk you and others thru posting  you original pictures there, editing them and posting the cropped picture to the forum in the next few days Cathy.

I'm hosting mine off the GWdotInfo account, plus I have a copy of PhotoShop for editing.