Bryan's Posts About Insects

Discover Dragonflies During My Summer Seminar

Pick any scene from the drama of life on Earth: birth, growth, beauty, courtship, reproduction, betrayal, murder. Find them all expressed in the lives of dragonflies. Shakespeare could have written the script for these insects. And now you can join the drama with my summer dragonfly and damselfly seminar near the Maine coast.

We Hope To See You (Fully Clothed) Friday in Montpelier

Ruth and I look forward to seeing folks in Montpelier this Friday night for our contribution to the North Branch Nature Center’s Naturalist Journeys lecture series.

What’s This? No. 23

Another crispy brown thing is your latest What’s This? nature challenge. Name it and you might win fame and a lot of money (okay, only five bucks).

What’s This? No. 21

My next What’s This? nature challenge was along the Gila River in southwestern New Mexico last week. I won’t reveal whether this is animal, vegetable, mineral or other

Kiss This: A Higher Calling for Mistletoe

Get yourself under some wild mistletoe this Christmas. Your gift might be a shock-and-awe butterfly called Great Purple Hairstreak. Mistletoe, a plant that grows on trees or shrubs, is a bit of a leech, a hemiparasite, which means mistletoe draws minerals and fluids from its host.

Butterfly Light

On the shortest days of the year, I bring you light – butterfly light. Over the weekend, I encounted 26 butterfly species at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum outside Tucson. The place was heaven. See a gallery and a slide show.

Fertility and Flight

In the angled light of November, a moth crossed my path through barren woods. Yeah, a moth, in the cold – a lesson in adaptation, fertility, and feminine sacrifice going by the name Bruce Spanworm.

The Last Dragonfly

Even after our first hard frost and our last soft serve, after you’ve raked your leaves and mounted your snow tires, after the warblers have abandoned us for the tropics and you yourself have abandoned notions of warmth, and even after this cold political season – even then a dragonfly of summer remains.

A Halloween Dragon

Nothing scary here – unless you’re a mosquito or some other small flying insect. Halloween Pennants (Celithemis eponina), which hunt and eat insects, range across the eastern US. They perch at the tips of low vegetation and twirl in the…

The Last Monarch

HERE IS YOUR LAST GASP OF SUMMER. Yep, most of the Monarchs are long gone – off with the winds to Mexico. But I’ve encountered America’s favorite butterfly here in Vermont as late as October 31 and along the Maine…

The Spineless on Monhegan

On north winds Wednesday morning the songbirds came to Monhegan – and then they left. Our gentle rain of migrants included newly arrived Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-winged Warbler (thanks to Tony Vazzano) and Cerulean Warbler, an extraordinary bird for the island. Blue Grosbeak, Lark Sparrow and Clay-colored Sparrow, the usual Monhegan oddballs, entertained the besotted birders.

Going Nuclear for Dragonflies

On a crisp, sunny day in September, after what was probably a typical summer for a dragonfly, a Common Green Darner took off and began to migrate south. As it cruised past the summit of Vermont’s Mt. Philo, with Lake Champlain below and the Adirondacks off in the distance, the dragonfly crossed paths with a Merlin.