Dragonflies being examined in a bug cage before being released back into the wild.
Spotted lady beetle
Lady beetle searching for a snack. Don't worry, they're good for the garden and just eat bad insects.
lizard on the move
Lizards are everywhere in the garden. They are always on the move, so stay still and keep looking.
Bees having a lunchtime feast of Sunflower Surprise. The word around the hive is that it was beelicious!
This insect is technically a pest since it eats our plants, but only has a negative impact in large numbers. They are an important part of the ecosystem, since they leave frass (droppings) that contribute to soil health and they are a tasty snack for birds, lizards and arthropods such as spiders and mantids.
This pretty blue damselfly is a very beneficial insect. They love to feast on mosquitos, flies and other small insects. They have great eyesight with almost 30,000 lenses - you and I only have one lens for each eye!
This Cabbage White Butterfly is very common in North America. Although as a caterpiller it does love cabbage, broccoli and other crucifers, it is not that pesky. You can tell the sex just by looking at its wings! A female has black tipped wings with two black dots in the center and a male only has one.
Green Sweat Bee
This female bee was gathering pollen. Did you know that male bees don't collect pollen and lack the pollen basket seen on this one? These bees generally like to burrow in the ground and they are called 'sweat bees' because they like to lick the salty sweat from your skin! They are generally not agressive, so remain calm if they try to lick you!
Cool Spider Web
This critter is sight unseen, except for the trap that has been left for flying insects. What kind of spider do you think left this web?
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a bee fly?! Yes, it looks warm and fuzzy like a bee, but has a short fat body with only one pair of wings and a long proboscis (nature's drinking straw for nectar). It is a true fly and somewhat of a parasite, in that its larvae feed on real bees. It also makes a loud buzzing sound and flies like a hummingbird!
FUNnel Web Spider
You can just barely make out the spider inside the web. These folks are usually homebodies and don't stray far from home.
Snack Time Spider
This brown spider has some little treats all wrapped up in its very pretty web.
Brwon spider close-up
Here's a close-up of another brown spider wrapping a snack for later.
Black & White Spider
This little guy is usualy found below ground and is considered a pest since they feed on the roots of plants. This is only at one stage of its development and this grub will eventually become a beetle.
Where's the butterfly? Their pretty colors serve as camoflouge, a way to attract mates, a warning sign to predators, and other ways. Did you know that female butterflies are usually larger than the male of their species?
Damsel flies, spiders and praying mantis like to eat me, but some of us eat milkweed as a caterpiller and it contains a special chemical that doesn't make us taste so good.
Say its name five times fast! This is a common pill bug that gets its name from its ability to conglobate (or roll into a ball).
I sware that this Praying Mantis was posing for the camera!
This caterpillar likes to feed on tomato plants. They are about 4 inches long and will burrow into the soil at the end of the Summer to pupate and emerge as a moth next Spring. You can see the small horn at his rear where they get their name from.
Aphids are small insects that suck the life out of new growth in plants. They also secrete a sweet sticky liquid that attracts ants. Ants and aphids form a symbiotic relationship where the ants get a food source and the aphids get protection from some predators...kind of like an insect mafia.