A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Bugs and Birds

Lake Limestone
Jewett, Texas

This bug bounced off the RV, hit me then crash landed at my feet.
Obviously they aren't very good flyers but are quite pretty.
It eventually regained its senses and flew off.

I've seen a Cardinal before on a previous trip to the east.  
We don't have them out west so they will always be enjoyable for me to see.

I also saw my first ever scissor tailed flycatcher.  This is the best they would allow me to do in getting a photo.  The camera was zoomed to the max plus I then cropped the photo some.
What a magnificent tail they have.

Here I cropped the photo even more.
Amazing what this little camera can capture.

And finally there are these guys...Fire Ants!  They are a non-native invasive species of ant.  This variety is barely one-eighth inch long but they get your attention if you're standing among them.  I was taking Beans for a walk and standing in one spot while she was investigating something.  Then I felt something uncomfortable on my bare feet.  I had about 50 of these little buggers on my feet.

Now the initial sting wasn't all that much.  It was two days later that the several dozen little red spots festered up and became quite annoying.  They didn't itch so much as they felt like, well...on fire.  And so I now know how they came by their name.  I dealt with this for a couple of days.  It was the most bothersome while in bed at night which I suspect being in contact with the sheets aggravated it.
Amazing how something so small which had to have injected such a minute amount of poison can be cause of so much discomfort for so long.  A bit of researched revealed that they are the most aggressive type of ant and about a dozen Americans die each year from fire ants.
You have to look hard but there are two coming from the hole.


  1. There's no end to the nice (and not so nice) surprises that nature has in store for us.

  2. Google says this is a Rainbow Scarab beetle: Rainbow scarabs, Phanaeus vindex MacLeay, are members of the beetle family Scarabaeidae, which along with the family Geotrupidae, are commonly known as dung beetles (Bertone et al. 2004). Scarab beetles were the objects of worship in Ancient Egypt and the more spectacular varieties are made into jewelry (Woodruff 1973). The African dung-rolling beetle utilizes the sun, moon and stars as guides for walking in a straight line (Dacke et al. 2013). The genus Phanaeus MacLeay is distributed primarily in Neotropical habitats with 100 species, but also in the Nearctic region with nine species and the West Indies with one. Dung beetles serve an important role in pasture ecosystems, which has resulted in their introduction around the world. The rainbow scarab, Phanaeus vindex MacLeay, has a bright exterior of metallic green, blue, and red interspersed with golden reflections.
    So now you know!

  3. I grew up where there were fire ants, miserable animals, they bite when you just walking by. I heard a story about a bride in a big shirt whose limo let her off in a nest. No one could figure out what she was screaming about, had to strip down and hose off. After the ceremony they took her to the emergency room.

  4. Amazing what you can see if you stop to look, you can keep the fire ants though

  5. Your blog was absolutely fantastic!
    Great deal of great information & this can be useful some or maybe the other way.
    Keep updating your blog,anticipating to get more detailed contents.


I appreciate my commenters. Thank you. Sometimes you may ask a question which I am all too happy to answer. But if your comment comes in as Betsy-noreply-comment - I cannot reply back. Change you comment settings to include an e-mail address and then bloggers can reply.