Archive for July, 2012

Sometimes, nature comes to you when you’re least expecting it. This is the story of my chance, up-close encounter with a Tinkling Ground Cricket, a charming denizen of the woodlands of the eastern United States.

Discovering singing insects

Last year, I decided to learn more about the singing insects of my area—the crickets, katydids, and cicadas. There are several good resources (see the end of this post) guiding me in this enjoyable journey.

Common true katydid Pterophylla camellifolia

Common true katydid, a singing insect

To get warmed up for this year’s singing insect season, I read Cricket Radio by John Himmelman several weeks ago. It’s an entertaining and educational book that combines natural history and personal observations on crickets and katydids. I highly recommend it.



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Milkweed (members of the genus Asclepias) flowers are unique and fascinating structures that attract a myriad of insect pollinators. The insects are rewarded with sweet nectar that milkweed flowers produce in copious amounts. Yet, insects sometimes cannot pull free from the nectar trough and perish in the grips of the milkweed flower.

Asclepias tuberosa butterfly weed w spicebush swallowtail

Butterfly weed, true to its name, with a spicebush swallowtail butterfly


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