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Month: March 2013

March Flies in March

March Flies in March

These two strange bugs were crawling on a Salal branch yesterday in my yard.  I’ve never seen anything like these before. A closer look didn’t help me much.  It sort of looked like an ant to me (maybe a queen or a male?), but the antennae didn’t seem right.  Ant antennae are usually bent. The view from above didn’t help much either.  The antennae here look a lot like fly antennae though.  Could it be a fly? I followed one…

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Plants and Bees with Fur

Plants and Bees with Fur

The Red-twig Dogwoods in my rain garden are beginning to grow leaves again.  A small insect was sitting atop one of them yesterday.   Two things catch my eye here.  First, I always forget how hairy bees actually are.  This one has a full coat of fur!  Second, the dogwood leaf also has a carpet of hair.  Is this meant to keep it warm, or maybe discourage animals from eating it?  Or possibly to keep it cool in hot weather?…

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Flower Flies Swarm

Flower Flies Swarm

A swarm of these insects was in my backyard over the weekend.  They must have “hatched” into adults someplace nearby. What is it? It is an Elongate Flower Fly like I posted 2 years ago.  How do we know it’s a fly and not a wasp or bee?  I see a few clues: It has gigantic eyes.  It is amazing how big the eyes are compared to the rest of its body. It has two short antennae. There is a blob…

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I’ve Never Heard of Thrips

I’ve Never Heard of Thrips

Finds like this are why I love producing Slugyard.  I was looking at my elderberry to see if the ant nest had moved again when I saw a little red thing crawling on one of the branches.  It was VERY small.  The branch in the photo above is probably only 3/4″ wide or so.  Below is a blown-up image of the red “thing”. What in the world?  I searched and searched my books and couldn’t figure out what this was.  Finally,…

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Wildlife in Unexpected Places

Wildlife in Unexpected Places

  After reading a great post by Heather Holm on the Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens website (that I used to contribute to), I decided to build a native bee nest out of hollowed out branches.  Mason bees have nested in my yard before in a human-made spot and I wanted to see more. Heather recommends using Elderberry branches.  Since I have several mature Red Elderberry bushes in my yard I decided to start there.  One of them is pictured…

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Native Plants Everywhere

Native Plants Everywhere

A lot of my native plants are flowering!  Some of them, like the Coltsfoot shown above, always flower early on and this year is no exception.  This patch started as one or two plants a few years ago and it is slowly spreading out. Closeup, the Coltsfoot flowers are beautiful. About three feet away is this Salmonberry bush.  I never planted it- it volunteered about 5 years ago!   It is also blooming right now.  Last year was the first…

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Back at it! Wolf Spiders Sunning

Back at it! Wolf Spiders Sunning

Slugyard is back!  Unfortunately I lost a little over a year’s worth of posts when I moved the site to my new host.  So it’s time to start catching up… Above is a photo taken of the side of one of my raised beds.  See the spider?   These small dark spiders are common around my yard.  I find them usually sitting in the sun along this planter or a wall of my house, always next to a patch of…

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