I spent memorial weekend at the 39th annual Wenas Creek Campout, a gathering of naturalists sponsored by Audubon, just North of Naches. On the Black canyon hike we came to a wonderful wet meadow area that was full of butterflies, checker spots, blues, and a Double-tailed Swallowtail. My attention was directed to my feet when I noticed an Anoplius wasp having what I thought was a death struggle with a larger caterpillar. The struggle however was with a large red ant who also wanted to claim the prize and who had hold of the opposite end. They did a tug of war, the much smaller ant holding its ground against the wasp. Finally the wasp sort of lifted the end of the caterpillar in such a way that the ant was not able to touch the ground, and thus losing its leverage. The ant crawled up along the body of the caterpillar towards the wasp, who promptly put down the meal and prepared for attack by turning around sideways. The ant had second thoughts (If it ever actually had any) about messing with the wasp, returned to the opposite side of the caterpillars and the two began playing tug of war again. I turned my attentions to other things like birds for a few minutes, and when I returned the wasp was again carrying the caterpillar and ant together through the grass and dirt, not without some difficulty. (This spp typically goes after ground spiders) I took a couple of pictures, looked away for a few more minutes and as I left the two combatants were once again doing tug of war. I wonder who eventually won? The Eleodes were commonly seen on dusty roads, and the well and not so well aged horse manure apparently attracted some scarab beetles, I think of the genus Aphodius. In the Hazel Wolf Bird Sanctuary Campground the carpenter ants were annoyingly thick, dropping into your face, your soup, and unforgivably, my beer. Ernie Bay (the Insect walk leader of the weekend) set up a black light and we got several attractive moths including a tiger moth, and some of the cross moths, the ones that look like miniature model airplanes with tiny narrow wings. Also several caddisfly adults and a whole bunch of midges. Rob Sandelin South Snohomish County at the headwaters of Ricci Creek Sky Valley Environments <http://www.nonprofitpages.com/nica/SVE.htm> Field skills training for student naturalists Floriferous@msn.com
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