Two recent articles on rattlesnakes in the news, great information as many people are know hiking and interacting with critters in the desert. Our calls have increased on snakes in backyards etc. The pictures below are of a Gopher snake that got caught up on a glue board and I’m trying to set it free.
One of the calls I get this time of year concerns this little fellow above, the Crane Fly. It looks like a mosquito on steroids and are in the same Order Diptera (= two wings) as mosquitoes. Crane Flies are found throughout the world, in Arizona generally right after the Spring rains we see them and then all of a sudden they are gone (usually living only 10 – 15 days). The larvae are found near water and eat organic materials and become food for fish and other small insects.
Just after emerging from her pupa case she seeks out a male, mates and lays eggs in moist soil. So hang in there they won’t be around long. Oh I almost forgot they don’t bite so no worries.
I think this is a Orchid Tree, Bauhinia variegate. The honeybees were going crazy on this tree, it sounded like a whirling buzzing noise and the tree was covered with bees pollinating.
When the bees are out gathering nectar and pollen generally speaking they will not attack, if you bother them or swat at them they may defend and sting you but they are not in hive defense mode. A lot of people panic when they see a few bees on a tree or bush, the honeybees are just there to gather the fruit of their labor. The same goes with water areas, this could also be your pool or water fountain. Let them be and more than likely they will leave you be. We as humans can come into contact with bees daily so just take care and if you notice them coming and going from your home – just check them out and see exactly where they are coming from.
The northern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster) is rather squat and blocky, has a white tummy and a white tip to its short tail. They’re not fast runners but are very agile – able to twist and turn to subdue prey in their longer-and-stronger-than-average jaws.
Isn’t it great to hear and read about cool stuff like this, thank goodness they aren’t real big. But anyway that’s why I’m here, to pass along stories like these.