Stinging Insects & Red Tip Blooms

I stood among hundreds of flying, stinging insects by the red tip hedge trying to catch close up pictures as the wind blew madly.  Against all odds I managed to capture a few of the different insects without getting stung.

The Mighty – Yellow Jacket, the meanest of the stinging insects.

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The Honey Bee, from my husband’s hive.

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One of the smaller Wasps we have here in Arkansas.

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Then I found caterpillars on the red tip hedge. They  hatch out every Spring and devour trees and shrubs.  Time to haul out the bug spray for these critters.

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Spring in February?

Cannot believe that Mother Nature thinks it is time for Spring here in Arkansas.  January through March is normally winter in this area.  Here is my cotton tree and some photos of plants, insects, and birds acting like they know more than the rest of us do.

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Both of our Maple trees are in full bloom.  I am sure winter will zap them in the future.

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This is my burning bush that is just about in full bloom right now.

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And the Robins seem to be back and act like they intend to stay around for awhile.

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Dragonflies, Butterflies, and Moths

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We do not seem to have the blue dragonflies like they do in Texas, but we have abundant amounts of black and brown dragonflies here in Arkansas

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This is a Branded Skipper Butterfly, taken from a front view and an overhead view. These are small, about 1/2″ long, but they can grow up to 2 1/4″ long.

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This is the small brown Gary Jue butterfly.  He has one of the biggest eyes I have seen.

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This white moth resting on a leaf is about 1/2″ across, he is the Forage Looper Moth.  I did not think he was alive, he had been in one spot for hours, but one light touch from my finger and he flew to another leaf.

Colorful Beneficial Insect

This little insect intrigued me from the moment I saw the critter.  This is a 6 Spotted-Tiger Beetle.  Gardeners love this bug because they are very beneficial to the garden.  They are a member of the ground-beetle family.  These beetles  are only about 1/2 inch long and they eat other insects with their powerful jaws.  Their habitat is the Midwest and Eastern U.S. You find them in the woods, under stones and around logs.

Their color ranges from blue, to green, or turquoise.  They can have 6-10 spots on their back or no spots at all.

These bugs have excellent eyesight.  They can fly and travel very fast with their legs on the ground.  If frightened it runs around like a chicken with its head cut off (old saying).  Apparently I scared it, because capturing these pictures in my camera lens was quite an undertaking with this bug scurrying everywhere.

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The second picture shows the spots on the Tiger Beetle’s back better.  This bug looks green here, but from a distance he looked florescent turquoise.