Top Photo: Goldenrod in bloom at Wander Away.
Visiting a garden at this time of year can be very rewarding. Goldenrod likes to wait until September or later to bloom, and like boneset mentioned in the previous post, has tiny blossoms which attract big crowds.
Butterflies, bees and wasps are too busy sucking up nectar to pay much attention to naturalists who stare at them while they refuel. If you’re patient, and you’re taking pictures, you may end up with some very interesting photographs.
Beneficial in that they provision their pottery-like nests with caterpillars and or sawfly larvae, adult potter wasps sip nectar for their own nourishment.
And here’s why they call them potter wasps.
Another solitary wasp, Scolia dubia are parasites of scarab beetles such as June beetles and Japanese beetles. The females dig into the soil where the beetle larvae, or grubs, are active, sting the larvae then lay eggs on them. When the eggs hatch, the wasp larvae consume the paralyzed beetle grubs, pupate and emerge as adult wasps.
Sand wasps like the one below typically use flies, or in this case, stink bugs to provision their subterranean nests.
While standing near a patch of goldenrod in Wander Away in Catch the Wind I noticed a jerky, twitching movement in the foliage of the plant. Something was struggling within the jumble of stems, flowers and leaves of the goldenrod in front of me. Perhaps a lynx spider had captured a wasp or butterfly.
No, it wasn’t a wasp or a butterfly, or even a spider. It was, though, something trying to escape, not from a predator but from its own skin. It was a bush katydid, attempting to pull itself free of it’s nymphal skin during its final molt into adulthood.
About 40 minutes later…
And about 4.5 hours later, I rediscovered the insect within inches of it’s original location as a full adult katydid.
Always keep an eye out for green anoles and ruby-throated hummingbirds.
And the mockingbird watches it all.
Visit a garden today.