Bigger fleas have smaller fleas In which to bite them Smaller fleas, have smaller fleas Ad infinitum I have not seen a single tent caterpillar tent in our area either, we saw tons over at Port Gamble over the weekend. I have recently learned what a tachnid fly looks like, and we seem to have lots of those, which like to parasitize tent caterpillars. Other bugs of interest, I collected a couple of Thimbleberry flowers that were thick with what I thought was one kind of beetle. Taking the jar out of the freezer and dumping it onto my microscope I found 4 spp. of beetles, Leaf beetles, Chrysomelidae, Soldier Beetle, Cantharidae, death watch beetles Anobiidae, and some other tiny tiny metallic green beetle which I can only admire. The western firefly beetle, Lampyridae are common around here, slender black beetles with red on the edges of the prothorax which mostly covers their head. The damselflies are hatching out of my pond, Boreal Bluets I believe, and a larger blue darner is out and about already, probably a Canada Darner. 4 spot skimmers are around the lake near where I live and of course, bumblebees are everywhere. This year I have only seen a tiny few honeybees, all the rest of the pollination action is dominated by the bumbles this year. Of course there are lots of flies, and beetles but they really don't do much pollination because they lack the hairs to capture and transport the pollen. The red parasitic wasp, Macrocentrus are out still and the tiny bristly dance flies, Empididae are doing their up and down mating flights in the sunny patches of the wetland. At one point two swarms merged and there were hundreds of these tiny things all jammed together going up and down in an interesting natural sort of rhythm which was almost hypnotic. A column of red ants made a highway carrying aphids off our roses. (Go ants!) Well, wait a minute, they are carrying them up the side of the house and into the roof. (uh, Go ants, and take your aphids with you). 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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