Friday, October 10, 2008

I was all set

I was all set to do a quick post about....
RT Lake Isabella
RT take off
...this red-tailed hawk I saw at Lake Isabella...


...and this rather vivid wall at a program yesterday....(Wow. That's...really....something...anyone feel like KABOOMING?)

But a quick romp in the back yard with the dogs led me to this...really fantastic bug.

A wheel bug, to be exact.
wheelbug 2
I first learned about these really cool bugs from Nina's blog. I always wanted to find one in our yard, because it seems that whatever she has in her yard, we have in ours. I was starting to take it personally that we didn't have any wheel bugs.
And halleluia, we do.
They are so BIG. I thought it was a leaf.

And it was devouring a yellow jacket. Yeeeeeee-eeessss.

wheelbug 3
I was completely enthralled with it. It's one of the good guys...taking care of Japanese beetles and other pests. I was nearly nose to nose with the thing, and then I had the thought, "Hmm. Do they fly?" Getting the mental image of me running like a mad woman, screaming and tearing off my shirt as I bolt across the yard made me take a few steps back.
Then I noticed a smell. Hmmm....did I step in dog poo or is this bug annoyed with me?
Researching them, I learned that they have two scent-sacs that it everts from its anus when annoyed. Oh boy.
Totally click on the pictures. It's really a beautiful bug.


KatDoc said...

Field mark on the first RT Hawk photo: "Back pack straps." The "V" shaped stripes over the back. (See? I have been studying!)

Wheel bug = Cool
two everting anal sacs = More than I cared to know
Mental image of Susan running and screaming as she tears off her shirt = Priceless!

Kitt said...

Wow, freaky bug! I haven't seen or heard of those before. Glad it's one of the good guys.

Death to yellowjackets!

Trixie said...

hee hee hee hee! That is one cool bug and one funny image.

NatureWoman said...

KABOOM!! And what a cool bug!!! I'm going to have to look for one.

nina said...

Yay, Susan, you DO have wheel bugs at your house!
I bet the yellow jacket ticked him off--I've gotten pretty close and never noticed that wonderful smell.

At any rate, glad you got a personal visit with what I always love to examine, no matter how many times I find them.