Last Thursday, we went out to the woods again to check and move the trail cameras. During our hike through the woods, I almost stepped into this 'foot-sized' hole filled with yellowjackets. YIKES! I was following Mr. Johnson and he must have walked right past it. Of course, I had to stop and try to figure out what these insects were doing. Because I didn't want to get too close, I counted on my zoom for a better look. It appeared that all of these yellowjackets were swarming on something, but I couldn't tell what (poop? a small dead animal?) My insect field guide says that the Eastern Yellowjacket (common in Minnesota) nests underground (usually in abandoned rodent burrows).
I had a short video clip to download also, but Blogger is feeling contrary tonight and I'll have to try that another time.
On our way back to the car, I almost stepped on this spider web right next to the crushed rock road. My insect field guide only has one page of spiders, but I'm guessing this is some sort of garden spider. It was quite large!
The web is quite visible due to the fact that it's coated with dust from all the car traffic kicking up dust on the road.
We went down again yesterday morning to check the cameras and I spotted this Eastern Comma Butterfly basking in the sun on a soybean plant.
Fortunately my patience paid off and I was able to get a wonderful picture of this butterfly with its wings open. I found out from my field guide that this is the "winter form" of coloring for the Eastern Comma. In the summer, their hindwing is almost entirely black.
Mr. Johnson brought me something special from his afternoon walk today. I had Sophie out in the backyard for a walk and I saw him go up on the deck and holler into the house for me. "I'm over here," I yelled back at him from the yard and I could see he had something in his hand. "C'mere, look at what I found for you," he said. I was thinking maybe a toad or something, but he was clutching a handful of leaves with this creature crawling on top.
I gotta tell ya, Mr. Johnson never ceases to amaze me......nothin' says "Love" like bringing a giant caterpillar home, does it?
Thanks Honey Bunny! You are THE MAN!
And for all of you who have placed a bid on my hat for auction (or are still thinking about placing a bid), please click on this link for Kristy's blog and look at all the hats she's received--820!! What a tremendous response.