Bryan's Posts About Insects
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.
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.
Zebras and Us
When I saw this dragonfly, I wet my pants. Okay, I was standing in Lewis Creek, so that’s actually how I wet my pants. But this dragonfly makes me euphoric. And I’m not entirely sure why. So I’m developing a theory on wildlife and aesthetics.
A New Vermont Damselfly
The diversity of life in Vermont, at least what we know of it, is now a bit richer with the discovery of a new damselfly in the state.
Naked in Norway
In the Arctic life wanders close to earth. In the Arctic there are no hiding places. And in the Arctic Ruth and I find unspeakable beauty and biodiversity on a warming planet.
A New Vermont Dragonfly
Salute the flag. We’ve got a new dragonfly in Vermont – Banded Pennant (Celethemis fasciata) discovered by Laura Gaudette.