Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Sun Returns to England

Welcome back, sun. Whatever you do, please don't go on another six-month hiatius. We'll do anything...

Last weekend, when back in the States all of our friends were grilling tofu pups and applying insect repellent, we were wearing wool and marveling about how a week before the start of June we could still see our breath outdoors.

But this weekend, the weather gave us a break for about 2 hours. To celebrate, we bought a grill. Scott put it together out back, frequently consulting the instruction manual and doing all the things pictured in circles with lines through them.

I settled in for an afternoon of insect identification and photography. [click on photos for larger versions--these are high res so fun to see bigger]
After about 600 shots, I finally have a few I like. The green guy covered in pollen in the first two shots is Oedemera nobilis, identifiable by his really weird hind legs. I watched him clean pollen from his face for a few minutes, which was great. It was like watching a cat bathe. I also liked him because he didn't move quickly, like all the bumble bees.
Next up is Chrysolina americana also known as the rosemary beetle, which feeds on rosemary and lavendar (as it is doing here).

Finally, here are a few snaps of the bumblebees who have nested under our lawn. I think they are buff-tailed bumble bees, and we also found red-tailed bumble bees and about 3 types of smaller bees.

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