Footage of another mellow Florida wasp

There’s no need to fear the Common Thread-waisted Wasp (Eremnophila aureonotata), since it rarely stings. I recently filmed a mating pair and the foraging female during a visit to San Felasco Hammock Preserve in Gainesville, Florida. After mating, the female digs a burrow, and then searches for a caterpillar to place inside. She then paralyzesContinue reading “Footage of another mellow Florida wasp”

A pulsating sack held a surprise

I was photographing life around a decaying stump, capturing mushrooms, young fence lizards, and a baby toad about a half-inch long. But then I noticed a four-inch, orange sack. And it was pulsing. It was too large to be an egg. What was moving inside? As I filmed, something made a slit through the shiftingContinue reading “A pulsating sack held a surprise”

How dangerous is a Pygmy Rattlesnake?

Something wriggled next to my foot, as I stooped at a decaying stump and photographed a beetle. As it unfolded and slithered past my leg, I gazed in appreciation. Then, it’s pattern suddenly registered! I stepped back, realizing it was a Pygmy Rattlesnake, a venomous snake common throughout the southeastern United States. It’s a smallContinue reading “How dangerous is a Pygmy Rattlesnake?”

Lucky daytime spotting of the Horned Fungus Beetle

Alone on a swampy trail, I noticed a half-inch beetle feeding on a mushroom. It was gray and bumpy, resembling tree bark. I was lucky to sight the Horned Fungus Beetle (Bolitotherus cornutus), since it’s active at night. This particular morning was overcast and the lighting was dim, which led this individual to indulge inContinue reading “Lucky daytime spotting of the Horned Fungus Beetle”

Campsomeris quadrimaculata – a giant wasp found in Florida

While walking, I came across this huge, beneficial wasp. It pollinates a wide variety of flowers and keeps beetle populations in check. It has no moniker. However, I’m nicknaming it the Lighthouse Wasp, since it flashes yellow beacons as it feeds. Below is a one-minute video with additional pictures and information. Video Transcript: I noticedContinue reading “Campsomeris quadrimaculata – a giant wasp found in Florida”

Nature Reclaims La Chua Trail

Early morning visit to La Chua trail (Payne’s Prairie, Gainesville, FL). A few years ago, nature reclaimed the long arm of this trail with flooding that failed to recede. This year, only the boardwalk is left. The water was high on both sides, coming approximately 4 feet from the floorboards. Although anoles enjoy hunting andContinue reading “Nature Reclaims La Chua Trail”

Reliance on a Fragile Creature

Sometimes as I walk, I find myself musing on things. On this day, I was thinking about technology and wondering how long it can last as it becomes increasingly complicated. And it’s so amaz… [Someone is passing by.] “Hi.” [Embarrassed laugh] It’s so amazing what all of this technology can do. But the frightening partContinue reading “Reliance on a Fragile Creature”

A Tree Frog Adventure

I had a small adventure at the Jacksonville Zoo. I was in the Florida reptile house, and a large frog was splayed on one of the glass doors. It was a Cuban Treefrog and was about the length of my hand. A volunteer was in the building and said she didn’t want to let itContinue reading “A Tree Frog Adventure”

An inspiring video for lovers of fungi and macrophotography

When I was in 7th grade, my science teacher gave the class several project options, one of which was to collect specimens of fungi. I liked being outside, and was keen to do this particular assignment. Mom helped by suggesting a trip to Philippe Park in Safety Harbor (FL). Philippe Park is now manicured, butContinue reading “An inspiring video for lovers of fungi and macrophotography”

Red-shouldered Hawks – Monogamous and Opportunistic Florida Residents

The Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) is one of my favorites to watch, particularly during breeding season. This is when pairs circle together, heavily‑banded feathers stretched wide. The Red-shouldered prefers mature forest adjoining small areas of open land. My own neighborhood adjoins a section of forest, and Red-shouldereds routinely fly through the closely packed trunks andContinue reading “Red-shouldered Hawks – Monogamous and Opportunistic Florida Residents”