Author Archives: fromtherootsup

Graphocephala coccinea

I discovered this pretty bug today on a milkweed leaf while I was monarch egg-hunting.  Even better is its common name, the candy-striped leafhopper. It is one of the most attractive insects I’ve ever seen.  Bright pink and turquoise stripes, with … Continue reading

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Hesperis matronalis

Dame’s rocket, or Hesperis matronalis, is a member of the mustard family and was introduced to the United States sometime in the 1600’s.  It is said to have been Marie Antoinette’s favorite flower.  It is now listed as an invasive … Continue reading

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Bombus Impatiens

We found a vibrating fuzzy mass in our croquet set bag this past weekend. A few bumblebees flew out of the mass so we were sure that it was a bumblebee nest. Earlier this spring we had plans to build … Continue reading

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Garden snails – part two

We decided to free our snails several weeks ago.  Upon releasing them to the world, it soon became apparent during cage cleaning that they’d left behind a gift – a clutch of eggs. Garden snail eggs usually hatch after 2 to … Continue reading

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Wood duck

This wood duck (Aix sponsa) was very poorly photographed yesterday during our observation of a Canada goose territory scuffle.  The wood duck flew in to the pond right in the middle of the action. I believe wood ducks to be … Continue reading

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Garden snails

We have found many different garden snails this spring, in various shades of white, brown, tan and pink.  Many were already picked over by the birds, and some of them were bleached by the sun.  We found several active snails, … Continue reading

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Ceratodon purpureus: Fire Moss

  photo taken on March 12 photo taken on March 18 (written by Sophia, age 10) This type of moss can live in very polluted areas like by the side of the road. We found some of this moss across … Continue reading

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Black swallowtail, part two, after a 6-1/2 month wait

Something I learned today:  a chrysalis is a pupa that hangs.  A cocoon is a pupa that does not.  I have usually used these two terms interchangeably. I set a black swallowtail chrysalis on the ledge in our art/science room … Continue reading

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Black swallowtail butterfly from larva to adult

We discovered this swallowtail caterpillar on our dill in the garden just after its second instar phase.  Interestingly the chrysalis color depends upon where the caterpillar is attached.  It can be green if the swallowtail pupa is going to be … Continue reading

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American pelecinid wasp

These wasps, species Pelecinus polyturator are almost always female, and when you see one with this elongated abdomen, you can be sure it’s female.  Since males are so rare, they mainly reproduce by parthogenesis, which is a process by which … Continue reading

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