"If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos."
~ E. O. Wilson
At last! I finally found a Dickcissel at the prairie parcel of Pheasant Branch Conservancy yesterday. When a few were reported near Wausau a few weeks ago, I was beginning to wonder if they had skipped over the Middleton area. I did find one at Pope Farm Conservancy just over a week ago, but it didn't stay. Their low numbers might be indicative of a mediocre Wisconsin breeding season for this nomadic grassland bird this year. However, it's in their nature to be a little unpredictable. More may show up yet this late spring or early summer. There haven't been very many Sedge Wrens either, but they're also known for making sudden appearances at the conservancy mid to late June.
On the other hand, Indigo Buntings are extremely plentiful at the conservancy; they're numerous at the prairie as well as the creek corridor. I can't recall seeing (and hearing) so many. As per usual, Common Yellowthroats are, well … common! They are a very beautiful and durable warbler, nonetheless. The common birds ought not be under-appreciated on account of their success as a species. There may come a day when their high numbers offer them some protection from becoming a conservation tragedy. Hopefully, we're a very long way from that. However, I've been reading Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History and recognize we shouldn't take anything for granted.
This edition of "Creepy Crawlies" includes various flies I discovered along the creek corridor. It impresses me how easy it is to find creatures I've never encountered before in Nature by merely broadening my search to the extremely small. Peacock Fly? I had no idea they existed until yesterday. This amazing little fly would raise and lower its wings in a rhythmic pattern while strutting about. Patience, curiosity, and a macro lens brings these unfamiliar tiny creatures to a more revealing and enthralling level of comprehension and sense of appreciation.
Dimorphic Jumping Spider (male)
Dimorphic Jumping Spider (female)
Flat-faced Longhorn Beetle
Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Jun 14, 2014 6:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Great Blue Heron
Great Crested Flycatcher
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
All images © 2014 Mike McDowell