Mushrooms Were Scarce But A Lot Of Cool Insects

Mushrooms Were Scarce But A Lot Of Cool Insects

Macro hike (11 of 50)
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Late August usually means an abundance of mushrooms here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Of, course it depends on the weather and the amount of rainfall. But the  longer, and cooler night, most years, produce at least some mushrooms. So, on Saturday, I grabbed my macro lens and visited some woods where I found mushrooms in previous years. bee on flower

It was a cool, breezy day with brilliant sunshine.  There is not the  wide variety of flowers  found in Spring but the flowers blooming now attract a wide variety of insects. Large patches of spotted knapweed or star thistle were growing along the trail and attracted hundreds of  different species of bees, hornets, wasps and yellow jackets. bee on flower

It was good to see the bees. The increased use of insecticides has dramatically decreased their numbers.moth on flower

The knapweed also attracted a number of moth and butterflies. butterfly on flower

My search of mushrooms was further  delayed when I found a large patch of milkweed.  This time of year I always enjoy inspecting  the milkweed plants I come across to look for the monarch butterfly caterpillar.  Well I found quite a few. monarch butterfly caterpillar

The monarch butterfly caterpillar can only feed on the milkweed plant. If the butterfly lays its eggs on another plant the caterpillars will starve. monarch butterfly caterpillar

The milk-like  sap of this plant is toxic to many other insects and animals but the milkweed caterpillar loves it.monarch butterfly caterpillar

I roamed the milkweed patch,  looking for the caterpillars, but also found some grasshoppers perched on the flat leaves.grasshopper on leaf  

Once again I found many different species of the grasshoppers.grasshopper on leaf

Looking at them, and capturing their images, with my macro lens always fascinates me. Amazing  how complex this tiny residents of our forests and woodlands are when looked at up close. grasshopper eyes

Growing between the milkweed plants were an assortment  of wild flowers and, what some folks call, “weeds”. These weeds also attracted a number of insects, including wasps,wasp on leaf on mushrooms hike  

yellow jackets,yellow jacket on leaf

butterflies,butterfly on flower on mushrooms hike

and dragonflies. dragonfly on leaf on mushrooms hike

milker mushrooms


I could have spent the entire day  watching, and photographing the many insects I was finding along the trail. But I was looking for mushrooms so I continued my walk. Unfortunately, my search for mushrooms was not as productive as my search for insects.  I  found very few, including this  one milky lactarius mushroom.

I walked for a couple of miles without success in my mushroom hunt so I decided to gave up. On my return hike I stopped and photographed some more insects, including some bees on a thistle flower. bee on thistle flower on mushrooms hike

And some more colorful  butterflies. butterfly on flower on mushrooms hike  

I also stopped to photograph the complexity of the many ferns on the trail with my macro lens. fern on on mushrooms hike

As I neared my car I was happy to find a few bi-colored bolete mushrooms.  Not enough for even a small meal but better than nothing It was not a very successful mushroom hunt but I enjoyed the sunshine, fresh air and the many insects I saw and photographed.  Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Macro lens hike August 24 2019.

“Around a flowering tree, one finds many insects.”
–  Proverb from Guinea 

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