|Pollinate those sunflowers!!!|
Ever since my first entomology job in college, I've been fascinated by insects. I still prefer animals with fur or feathers or scales, but bugs, as weird as they are, have been the topic of a lot of the girls' and my study lately.
|Playing with a newly transformed cicada.|
|A cute little baby praying mantis.|
For example, one of the bugs we kept noticing hanging around this year was a menacing-looking, stripped fly. I didn't think too much of it until I was mowing and passed one that was clutching a honeybee in its arms. With a bit of investigation, we found out it's called a robber or assassin fly and, lucky us, it prefers to nab honeybees for a meal. Usually, I'm all about live and let live but when it's a merciless predator that eats our hardworking bees, I aim to kill.
|An assassin fly. Creepy...|
|One of the biggest walking sticks we've seen!|
Everyone else, especially other, more docile and useful predatory bugs, are welcome to stay. We've had great success with our praying mantis pods which we herd into our garden when they're found. Dragonflies are a fun and welcomed guest as their young prey on mosquito larva and we've seen our fair share of walking sticks trying to escape our notice.
|There's a pool party in the cats' bowl every morning.|
|The bees getting a much needed drink from a leaky hose.|