Bugged

I discovered The Backyard Arthropod Project blog this spring while trying to ID a ginormous bee-like creature I found resting on a fence near the compost heap.

The photos on the blog led me to believe my initial suspicion was correct: the bug was most probably a queen yellow jacket.  No surprise there; last summer I lost the use of the compost heap for the better part of the growing season because I let the heap get too dry, making it an ideal location for a colony of yellow jackets to raise their young’uns.

I was impressed by the blogger’s approach and added a link to the site on my blogroll (the “Resources for Writers” tab at the top of this page). Tim Eisele, the blogger, is an extractive metallurgist by profession but an entomologist at heart. A couple of years ago he started a project to document anything with an exoskeleton that wanders onto on his land on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.

(The Keweenaw is a peninsula of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, jutting out into Lake Superior some 300 miles north of Milwaukee. Besides being famous for its mineral deposits, especially copper, the peninsula also is home to terrific food. In summer, roadside markets sell thimbleberry jam and hot-from-the-oven Cornish-style meat pasties. Mmmmmmmmmm…)

This week BAP’s creature feature is a mosquito undergoing cosmic justice (click here), which couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time; with all the rain we’ve been having, I’m expecting swarms to arrive any day now.

The blog is also worth noting for its mini-course in microphotography on the cheap.

© 2010 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go

This entry was posted in Notes from the Neighborhood, Seasonal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Bugged

  1. Susan says:

    I have to admit looking at that blog caused a few shudders, but it IS fascinating.

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  2. Tim Eisele says:

    Thanks for the link, Anne. Incidentally, anybody who wants to see “creepy” should come back next week, when we find out one of the reasons why it’s not so great being a caterpillar . . .

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  3. What an incredible site. Granted, I wanted to put my hand in front of my eyes. No, I’m not squeamish. Okay, yes, I am. That surprised spider took me awhile to get used to. But how fascinating these pics are. And for the record, I will NOT be going back next week to see what happened to the caterpillar. Too ooky for me.

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  4. Great site! I sent it to a homeschooling mom.

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  5. MaryWitzl says:

    That is a great site and it’s a good idea. We love bugs in our family! All except for mosquitoes and cockroaches. For some reason, we’ve got zillions of mosquitoes here this summer and we’re keeping our heads up for cockroaches.

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    • Anne Bingham says:

      Mosquitoes? I thought you were in a hot-and-arid locale, Mary, with just the odd scorpion to worry about. So sorry! I hope they have window screens where you are, but I’ve heard the idea of actually screening out pests is more an American concept.

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