Indiscriminate Bug Hunt III

"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."

― F. Scott Fitzgerald

"If June was the beginning of a hopeful summer, and July the juice middle, August was suddenly feeling like the bitter end."

― Sarah Dessen
I really hate to say this, but going to Spring Green Preserve on Saturday was probably a mistake. I was hoping to find some of the cool treehopper species I've encountered there in the past, but found zero. It was hot to the point of being more than just a little uncomfortable and I went through three water bottles in just a couple hours. I did see a Giant Swallowtail, an underwing moth, and Clustered Poppy-mallow were open, but there just wasn't very much insect or avian activity ― at least I saw a male Blue Grosbeak! I heard one Lark Sparrow sing and a few Grasshoppers Sparrows, too. 
It was even too hot for most tiger beetles. There were only a few Punctured and Big Sand actively hunting for prey, and even they seemed a little sluggish. I assume the rest were cooling off in burrows or plant shade. I don't recall sing a single robber fly, either. But it would make sense if other insects were avoiding hot sandy areas then the robber flies might have been hunting elsewhere, or also seeking respite from the torrid heat. Naturally, I might not have been paying as close attention as I typically do on account of my bug-detecting senses impaired from probable mild heat exhaustion. 
Cool as tiger beetles are, I felt rather unmotivated to spend much time with them. 
Above two photos: Blue Dasher and Prairie Tick Trefoil. Saturday morning started out hazy and overcast, but waiting for clouds to clear wasn't the wisest move. By the time I hit the road it was well into the upper 80s. I'm not sure that the temperature was at the desert prairie, but it's almost always 5 to 10 degrees warmer there compared Middleton. My guess is that it was probably in the upper 90s and maybe even over 100 at times. 
That's an American Copper on Hoary Vervain. I can't believe how many oak sapling trees I scanned for treehoppers, baking under the sun. I don't really regret going to Spring Green Preserve, as it can be interesting to see how things change under varying weather conditions. Still, I wish I had gone to the creek corridor instead. 

And so that's what I did Sunday morning ...
I entered the Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor when it was still in the 60s. So much better! My first critter encounter was another round with treefrogs. I didn't go crazy like I did last time and settled for just a few nifty portraits. I don't really want to intrude too long with these astonishingly cool frogs, but I think I could photograph them all day. 
Ya gotta love treefrogs!
So camouflaged ...
Some Spiderwort ...
Evening Primrose ...
The super-tiny monstrosity that is the Gnat Ogre Robber Fly ...
And hoppers!
Above we have Two-horned Treehopper, and Locust Treehopper below.
He was on the move!
I noticed a steep decline in Buffalo Treehoppers compared to last weekend. It seems early, but it is almost August. And then September when I'll probably start fall birding. Those of you who don't enjoy my summer creepy-crawly posts will be grateful, I'm sure! 
I am not really sure what this one is doing, but I think I should feel insulted. Kidding! I do think it may be some sort of aggressive response to my macro lens. As soon as I got the photograph and backed away, the treehopper put its hind leg back down. It also might have been preparation for an escape hop or flight, fortunately the treehopper remained mostly undisturbed. 
Wide-footed Treehopper ...
Two-marked Treehopper ...
Another Partridge Bug ... never before and now three this year.
The moth below is referred colloquially as a bird-poop moth for the ... obvious reason. This particular species is Eucosma giganteana or Giant Eucosma Moth. In all honesty, when I first spotted it I actually did think it was a piece of bird poop. Oh, the things one finds on a Bug Hunt!
Turk's Cap Lily ...
And me on the mission. With a huge forest canopy over me, I also tower over the land of hoppers, tiger beetles, and whatever else hides beneath the plants. The types of hobbies I choose are mostly mindful and meditative ― it's necessary to keep focused on a subject: the pursuit, the discovery, the documenting. I find all facets of this so incredibly rewarding and relaxing. 
All images © 2021 Mike McDowell