Memories caught through my camera - the many faces and things I love.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Giant Ichneumon Wasp

Today was another first for me. I spotted several of these strange looking insects and wondered if they would sting me or not. I found that I was observing a Giant Ichneumon Wasp drilling a hole in a dead tree to lay eggs.

The Inchneumon Wasp can be found on dead trees and tree stumps. The female is actually looking for the pigeon horntail grubs
- so she can lay her eggs that will eventually hatch and eat the horntail - both of these are stingless wasps. Her long tail is longer than her body and is called an ovipositor.

The female uses the ovipositor to drill into the wood of a tree and then arches her back and her abdomen follows the ovipositor to the hole in the tree and deposits her eggs.

The male is not a colorful as the female and his abdomen is smaller and more slender. I hope to get pictures of a male now that I know where to find the females! These are very interesting insects - with the typical three body parts (head, thorax and abdomen), 6 segmented legs and pairs of wings. The big difference in these insects from other insects is the ovipositor.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Walking Through My World

Another wonderful day to walk around my neighborhood. Spring is almost over and the weather is warming up. We still have many cloudy days but great for taking photos.

Today I spotted several bugs and flowers that I always enjoy seeing.

The Common Whitetail dragonflies were very active today, I spotted numerous male and female CW. The Female Common Whitetail has a dark "tail" or abdomen and the mature males a white chalky bluish abdomen.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain!


One of my favorite sayings is about dancing in the rain. This particular blog is about two very special babies that have survived the storm and now I am just hoping and praying that they can soon "dance in the rain" because they deserve to have the best life a cat can live.

Fashion is a sweet, loving, 3 year old dilute calico. She was found as a stray and came to New Leash on Life in hopes of finding a loving forever home....this was in October, 2010. She is still waiting on her forever home - but I know she will find it! She is a survivor - diagnosed with Toxoplasmosis recently - but she has recovered very nicely! She needs a home and lots and lots of love!

Cash is Fashion's son! Cash is about 8 months old, orange and white bundle of energy! Cash has never had the joy of living in a home. See, he came to New Leash on Life with his Mom when he was just a little kitten. Cash is a survivor also - he has had digestive issues and also exposed and probably positive for Toxoplasmosis. He is being treated and expects to fully recover from this parasite.

My hope and prayers are that Fashion and Cash find their forever homes soon so they can know and enjoy life as a cat should - in a home with lots of room to roam, play and DANCE!

If you happen to read this blog and are interested in learning more about Fashion and Cash - visit New Leash on Life's website and learn more about these two survivors.

For more information on Toxoplasmosis in cats check out these links:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring is in the air!

Spring is around the corner and I'm so excited. This is my favorite time of the year! Every thing starts blooming and the critters start building their nests and "claiming" their territory. We are so lucky to have such wonderful and beautiful wildlife just outside my back door.

The Great Blue Herons have started nesting. We have a rookery on an island
just as you enter our cove off on Old Hickory Lake, which is part of the Cum
berland River in middle Tennessee. Last count there were around 50 GBH.

Sharing the rookery with the GBHs are the Double-Crested Cormorants. They are back this year in large numbers - at least 50 so far, and nesting along side the GBH.

Wood ducks have also returned this year and hopefully we will see babies swimming around the cove in just a few months. I counted 7 pairs on the north side of the cove, along with some single males - probably looking for a mate.

The Canada Geese are also returning and looking for nesting places. We usually have a pair that will build a nest on our shoreline. If we don't have high water we are able to watch them care for the eggs and protect the nest, and maybe even see the eggs hatch. Unfortunately we usually have high water during nesting time and the nest is washed away. Sure wish they would nest a little further up on the shoreline.