Invisibility

20160911_120903.jpg

I’ve posted about the wonders of nature’s camouflage before, but a chance meeting with a mantid (stagomantis carolina, I think) persuaded me to revisit the topic. I’m sure that you can see the marvelous bark-colored creature above, but can you see it below?

20160911_120754.jpg

Much more difficult, isn’t it? It’s a miracle he didn’t get stepped on. The funny thing is that I didn’t even realize I was taking a picture of this insect, a Green Stinkbug nymph (5th instar, chinavia hilaris):

20160909_084319.jpg

I simply meant to take a picture of the touch-me-nots. But he matches perfectly – clearly a cool pre-adult with style. He needs to give this grasshopper nymph (a schistocerca nitens, I believe) some tips on not being quite so matchy-matchy monochromatic:

20160722_144601.jpg

And they all need to explain to this mylar balloon that its attempt at camouflage is an absolute fail:

20160911_122648.jpg

That green is too bright, and it’s altogether too shiny.

The Little Things

When I think about summer along the Monocacy River, I think about sun, heat, and humidity, of course, but it’s the little things that really define the season…things like spiders, bugs, beetles, bees and other creepy crawlies. Some of these invertebrates are welcome: I love examining spiders in their webs, watching damselflies flit from plant to plant along streams of shallow water, and bees bumbling over the wildflowers in the floodplain. On the other hand, the invasive insect destroyers, like japanese beetles, which descend upon plants in dense, reproducing masses and devour their hosts’ leaves to bits of lacy shreds, repulse me. Yesterday, however, when I saw a slew of them chewing up some stinging nettle, I was almost happy with them. So, you see, it really is the little things. As long as you don’t mind getting a gnat in your eye every now and then.