Although it is currently 96 degrees outside, Japanese beetles are decimating our young Virginia creeper. And so, I braved the heat to protect our investment.
After many years of observation, I've learned to escape predation Japanese beetles free fall from their positions on a leaf (even while copulating). A plastic single-serve bottle makes an effective trap. Once filled with water and dish soap it becomes a perfect receptacle for fleeing beetles.
As I was tapping leaves around the pond (and catching beetles in sudsy water) I saw all variety of insects: leatherwings, stink bugs, bees, wasps, flower flies, leafhoppers and treehoppers.
Despite their destructive nature I have an affinity for thorn mimic treehoppers. Motionless on a stalk of meadowsweet the little fellow above looks for all the world like a thorn. Only when he winds his way round-and-round its stem do I realize he is not a thorn but instead, an insect.
I have often wondered why he has not evolved to spend time on plants which actually display thorns? He is not a particularly effective mime, protruding from a thornless meadow perennial.
Or maybe he knows birds read neither herbals nor field guides?
Jessica Allen explores the fields and forests of Pennsylvania with her artist-husband, Michael Allen, and their son, Benjamin. She shares her observations through words and pictures of everyday magic and beauty she sees in her world.