The hillsides are looking increasingly brown and many of the plants that bloomed in Spring are now withered and dry. And still — they host new life!
While inspecting a small stand of dried-up mustard plants, I was lucky enough to find a Convergent Lady Beetle (Hippodamia convergens) that had just recently emerged from its pupa. Initially after this adult transformation, the beetle’s shell is fairly soft and its coloration much paler than normal. If I had been able to sit and observe for long enough, I would have seen the beetle’s markings and underside of the abdomen darken considerably and its elytral color mature to a deeper shade of orange or red (as demonstrated by this pair that I photographed mating last April).
I know that everyone struggles with their fair share of pesky summertime critters — ants, ticks, mosquitoes, bitey flies. But, I’m curious to hear what some of your FAVORITE summertime insects are? Cicadas? Butterflies? Bees? Dragonflies?