Eastern eyed click beetle

insect eastern eyed click beetle

Huge eastern eyed click beetles have arrived! Eye pattern on thorax is very impressive. As scary as they look, they are harmless. Check out their cool antennae! Next time I see one I’ll pick it up and listen for the click sound! I often pick up small click beetles that get into the kitchen because it is amazing to hear their click sound in my hand as I carry them outdoors.

“Saddlebags” of milkweed pollen! Busy bee!

insect bee and milkweed

It was exciting for me and the busy bee to find some milkweed blossoms the deer haven’t eaten yet! The milkweed pollen our bee is collecting looks like butter! I wonder what it tastes like. We ate young green milkweed pods once over 40 years ago. As I recall, you need to boil them twice, changing the water. Warning: Please Google before you try them. They tasted like string beans.

Proud owner of Backyard Bees of North America poster!

Insect bee on horse nettles 2

In spite of my poster on Backyard Bees of North America I have not identified this one yet. The poster shows side views of bees, not top down. Plus I didn’t find this bee in my backyard. Oops. I was on the road again.

Insect bee on horse nettles

But I can tell you the flowers are horse nettles . If not, hopefully someone will correct me! Meanwhile, don’t touch them!

 

The “Panda” Factor

Insect ladybug

My son calls it “the deadly cuteness”…when a creature is totally irresistible- like a panda. To me, a ladybug is the ‘panda’ of the beetle family. If you think there is a cuter beetle, please let me know. One ladybug can eat more than 50 aphids in a day and more than 5000 in a lifetime! They also eat scale insects and plant mites so they are very popular with gardeners. During the Middle Ages, insects were destroying crops. Catholic farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Ladybugs came to their rescue. The farmers called them “The Beetles of Our Lady” and their current names evolved from there.  The rest of the English-speaking world calls them ladybirds. FYI, boy ladybugs are called ladybugs also.