Our Steadfast Bluegill

At our lake in north-central Minnesota we have often noticed circular areas on the lakebed, each a few feet across, where bottom muck is cleared away to reveal sand beneath. With a little research we discovered that bluegill sunfish were likely responsible, and that these circles are their nests. But we had not seen fish …

Hawk’s Nest in our Sweetgum Tree

A pair of hawks have built their nest in the sweetgum tree in our front yard in Louisiana. The nest is too high for us to see any chicks, but there are calls that sound like chicks and the two adult hawks seem to be tending a brood. Identification of the hawk’s species was difficult …

Clear Water

We are fortunate to live beside a lake with very clear water. Effectively capturing its clarity in a photo is difficult. Real estate ads for properties on lakes in the area with clear water commonly include photos like this, taken looking down on the water from our dock. Plants on the lake bottom, under about …

Bee Balm with Insects

During these last days of July our blooming bee balm plants (Monarda fistulosa) have been a hive of activity for insects and an occasional hummingbird. The hummingbirds were too skittish to capture in a photo, but the insects were too busy to notice my presence. Two-spotted Bumblebees When the sun is out two-spotted bumble bees …

Giant Mayfly

Yesterday there were huge numbers of the Giant Mayfly (Hexagenia limbata) covering building surfaces facing the shoreline of Leech Lake in Walker Minnesota. The images below were taken on Walker’s public dock. In the central image above, the Mayfly to the right is male and the one to the left is a female. Males typically …

Winter Survival; Insects

Remarkably, tiny insects survive weeks and months of sub-zero cold each year. This post provides brief descriptions of how three common bugs manage this; Woollybear Caterpillars, Mosquitos, and Ticks. Woollybear Caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella) The woollybear hatches in the fall and overwinters in its caterpillar form, when it nearly freezes solid. Their bodies produce glycerol, a …