BACKYARD BEAUTY

I remember when I was growing up, always wanting to be outside playing and exploring. I also remember waiting patiently at the bottom deck stair, touching the grass so that it was dry so that I didn’t track anything back into the house while I was out. Every few minutes I would run my hand through the grass readying myself to yell to my mother that the grass was finally dry. Once it was, I was nowhere to be seen. I was either in the overgrown field behind the house catching insects or I would be off to other areas in Jamestown that I knew where hot spots for cool insects.

Fast forward to today where kids’ favorite pastime is the use of screens. Whether they are playing video games, watching movies or videos or just hanging out on social media platforms, these kids are missing all of the beautiful things around them in nature, much of which can be found in their own back yard. Sure they can look these things up online, but nothing beats finding them in person and experiencing them in nature. Though I am fascinated with the universe and all it has to offer, our backyards are a universe in their own right, teeming with life on every inch. Even the smallest of yards are loaded with things to find.

What I am doing with this blog, and subsequent ones, is showing you some of the inhabitants that may appear in your own back yard. Please keep in mind though that these pictures were taken in my back yard in Richmond, Rhode Island. What lives in Rhode Island can greatly differ from other states.

                                                The Luna Moth, Actias luna.
The Giant Leopard Moth, Ecpantheria scribonia.
                         The Question Mark butterfly, Polygonia interrogationis.
Question Mark butterfly caterpillars.
The Painted Lady butterfly, Vanessa cardui.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, Papilio glaucus.
                            Hickory Tussock Moth (Lophocampa caryae) caterpillar.
                                    Black Swallowtail caterpillar, Papilio polxenes.
Candy-striped Leafhopper, Graphocephala coccinea.
Dogbane Beetle, Chrysochus auratus.
Seven-spotted Lady Beetle, Coccinella septempunctata.
        The Pustulated Carrion Beetle, Nicrophorus pustulatus.
Yellow-thighed Stag Beetle, Lucanus capreolus.
Water Scavenger Beetle, Hydrophilus ovatus.

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Broad-necked Root Borer, Prionus laticollis.


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Grapevine Beetle, Pelidnota punctata.

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Flower Longhorn Beetle, Stenelytrana emarginatar.

Giant Water Bug, Lethocerus americanus.
Gladiator Katydid, Orchelimum gladiator.
Ichneumon Wasp, Trogus pennator.

Baltimore Oriole, Icterus galbula.

I hope you enjoyed this first entry and will share it with anyone you know who has an appreciation for the world around us. Unfortunately, too many children are taught at an early age that insects are gross or should be feared. Adults really should allow children to make up their own mind without interference based on their own personal feelings. Look for part two soon!

~David Albaugh

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