Joshua Tree National Park   3 comments

A four day backpacking trip, through REI.  Incredible experience!

The afternoon sun bleaches the land, so it’s probably not surprising that some of the best photos are sunrise and sunset.  Plus, during the day, the guides were driving us mercilessly, so who had time to take photos?

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Morning sunlight through a dried Joshua tree branch:

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Posted 2019-11-21 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Rattlesnake Hill   Leave a comment

How is it that I haven’t been to Rattlesnake Hill before?  Anyway, it’s just been preserved for nature, and to celebrate I made my first trip.

When you look under a rock around here, you often find little strands of silk.   I don’t know if they are fungal or insect/spider in origin.  They often have droplets on them, perhaps water but possibly not.  Always a great view.

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Posted 2019-11-20 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Borderland   Leave a comment

The pine needle circles!  I had a previous photo published as Earth Science Photo of the Day: https://epod.usra.edu/blog/2018/11/pine-needles-sunlight-and-concentric-circles.html

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Posted 2019-10-18 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Devil’s Rock   Leave a comment

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Who knew fern leaves decayed so beautifully?

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Chironomidae midge

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Cyclosa conica

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Posted 2019-10-13 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Moose Hill   Leave a comment

The days are getting shorter.  The trees are raging against the dying of the light.

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Posted 2019-10-12 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

More Clouds   Leave a comment

Hot weather leading to unstable atmosphere leading to spectacular clouds!

 

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Posted 2019-09-06 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Borderland State Park   Leave a comment

Not sure at all about wasps, they are so tough!

 

It is so bizarre: pretty much every single time I pass this dead tree trunk I find Atanycolus wasps (Braconidae).

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Dolichurus, with a roach?  Maybe D. bicolor.  If it is indeed Dolichurus — it’s the second report in BugGuide in the US, first report in iNaturalist anywhere in the world.  [EDIT: confirmed in BugGuide as Dolichurus.]

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This was suggested as Podium luctuosum on the solitary wasps Facebook group.  That would make it the first Massachusetts record for this species, second in New England [EDIT: that’s only on BugGuide; there are a few iNaturalist reports.  Still a fairly rare find.]

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Ichneumonidae:

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There was a bunch of wasps flocking.  I think they were yellowjackets, Vespula flavopilosa; and I think there was a prey in the middle of flock, maybe a grasshopper.

 

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Nematocera?  Fungus gnat?

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A Flatid planthopper, Anormenis chloris:

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This spider was in a Linyphiid nest.  I think it’s a kleptoparasite spider in Theridiidae, perhaps Neospintharus.

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Tachinidae or Sarcophagidae:

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Another:

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I don’t know what this film is.  I know there are some bees that actually make their own natural cellophane (Colletes), but I don’t know if this is what’s happening here.

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There was a robber fly that was ovipositing, I think.  She was incredibly patient about me barging in and taking photos.

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Here’s a photo without a flash:

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A lovely meadowhawk, not sure which kind:

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Handsome Trig.  Again, a reminder, that’s really its name.  Also known as Phyllopalpus pulchellus, or red headed bush cricket.

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This cricket is Melanoplus, perhaps fasciatus:

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Gorgeous sweat bee I think (could it be Chrysididae, cuckoo wasp)?

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Philodromidae, perhaps Philodromus:

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Posted 2019-09-03 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized