I just wanted to share this photo I caught of a robber fly chowing down on another insect. (Perhaps a syrphid fly?) When I first saw the robber fly and started taking its picture, I didn't realize it had prey in its grasp, but by the time I got close enough for this last shot, I knew it had something.
Robber flies are great predators! Another insect to welcome into your garden.
First it was bugs in jars. Then it was toad races in the sand box. Next, I obsessed over seashells and all the animals living in tidal pools and along the shore. Finally I went to college and studied biology, accidentally becoming a birder and amateur entomologist along the way. Raising a family gave me the impetus to start gardening. Now, many years later, I have come full circle back to bugs, though rarely do I catch them in jars any more.
The more I learn, the more fascinated I become with the intricate web of biological connections surrounding us every day. Wasps that lay their eggs on paralyzed grasshoppers. Mosquitoes that prey on other mosquito larvae. Flea beetles that will only consume plant material from one genus of plants. What I can observe and learn in my own backyard is staggering.
By caring for that yard organically, the small world that I provide for a huge variety of creatures is enlightening, enlivening, and enriching.
How can anyone ever get bored?!