Yellow Ranunculus

Gesundheit! A perfectly round yellow ball of flower that is used in bridal bouquets, the Ranunculus is also available in pink, white, and orange. Its flower looks soft enough to use as a pillow! When I returned to the nursery the next day, all the Ranunculii had been sold!

Yellow Ranunculus

White-Crowned Sparrow on the Pear Tree

This gallery contains 2 photos. The latest sparrow to mug for the camera. After (proverbially) chasing around this male White-Crowned Sparrow (in full breeding plumage) for a couple of weeks, he finally obliged by alighting on the pear tree and let me shoot, albeit through a pane of glass in the setting sun.

White-Crowned Sparrow on Pear Tree 2

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You Call This a Wasp?

It’s an Ichneumon wasp (Enicospilus species). Svelte waistline, super-long antennae (which can probably pick up some OTA signals, too), six-legged, and very orange. Two were spotted in my backyard on adjacent leaves, seeking some shade and warmth. Had to search high and low to finally ID the alien-looking creature. It’s actually useful for controlling flies and beetles.

Mystery Orange Bug

Macro Monday: Spurge is for the Birds

The misnamed spurge laurel is for the birds (like American Robins who love to eat and poop out the seeds), but hands off for humans. Considered an invasive species, the dainty yellow flowers of spurge laurel may be pretty to look at, but the entire plant is actually poisonous for us.

Spurge Laurel

Cosmic Bowling / An Unexpected Adventure in Blacklight Photography

This gallery contains 4 photos. In a bid to use up a Groupon coupon, we went bowling on a Friday night, only to discover that it was cosmic bowling night. The neon cast given to many ordinary objects made blacklight photography irresistible. Unfortunately, the same adjective could not be used to describe my many failed attempts to produce a single strike.

Big River Brew Pub Ordering Sign

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Hover, Fly!

This hoverfly, photographed pollinating the Shiro plum flowers, looks very much like a tiny bee, but its short antennae and (purple) compound eyes give it away. The syrphid fly is a quiet and beneficial insect; its larvae eat (and control) aphids that destroy fruit and flowers.

Hoverfly on Shiro Plum Bud

Dwarf English Daisies

This gallery contains 3 photos. With their round, oversized heads, the cute-as-a-button Polar variety of these English Daisies remind me of cotton puff balls. Some yellow geraniums snuck into the first photo, but I won’t hold it against them.

Dwarf English Daisies

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Don’t Be Waspish

Here’s a closeup of a Yellow Jacket wasp pollinating the fragrant white flowers on a skimmia japonica bush. The hint of red you see to the left of the wasp is one of the very round, very red berries (which are a tasty treat for wildlife, but we have never seen the birds nibbling on them).

Wasp Pollinating skimmia japonica (male) bush flowers

Stop and Smell the Azaleas

Spotted at one of our local nurseries. Sunnyside Nursery isn’t the biggest nursery in Delta, but with this one and an Eastern Island head sculpture that’s almost the same scale as the original, you’ll stop and smell the azaleas. Yes, that is a palm tree to the left — face + palm, get it? A little rebus joke.

Big Head Sculpture