On This and That

A beetle and two flies. The extrafloral nectaries of these trumpet vine flowers bring everybody to the party.
Ladybug, ants, and a bee on this Oak Rough Bulletgall.
Another type of ant and a fly. Guess there is something worth foraging off these galls as well.

I have lately seen a few things on social media about the importance of street trees. The various “services” they provide: shade, clean air, beauty. Nobody ever mentions that even a tree stuck in a hardpan pit surrounded by concrete and pissing dogs is also an ecosystem, a microcosm. Ants running up and down the trunk. Aphids sucking plant juices and aphid-eaters patrolling the leaves in hopes of chomping down on or sucking up aphids. Galls wasps chemically manipulating the plant’s genes. Birds hunting, resting, grooming, nesting, pooping! Moths and butterfly laying eggs on the leaves, then caterpillars chewing those leaves. Spiders weaving. Katydids stridulating. Cicadas powering up their crescendos. A ttree trunk is also home to nature’s graffiti, fungi — look for the tiny little parasols of Mycena bonnet mushrooms — lichens, mosse. A tree is a host of hosts.

A mess of eggs. Lepidopteran probably.
More confident in this ID: Lymantria dispar, formerly known as “gypsy moth.”
This is a fungus, Hesperomyces virescens, growing on the elyta of an Asian Lady Beetle.

1 Response to “On This and That”

  1. 1 Chuck McAlexander August 30, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    Great shots and a good description of a tree. It’s a lot more than a big chunk of wood sticking in the ground. Great perspective!

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