It has been brutally hot today so my trips outside have been limited to short macro sorties. Fortunately, there are lots of interesting insects about right now, including this very pretty, very tiny hoverfly. I have searched my Flower Fly Field Guide and believe this to be an Eastern Calligrapher, so named because of the intricate pattern on the abdomen. Not as sharp as I'd have liked but worth today's spot in my journal. And a nice addition to my 2021 Yard Bugs record.
I also found a tiny wasp which I subsequently identified as a bee wolf wasp (Philanthus gibbosus). Better yet, I was able to determine that it is a male based on its behavior - it was diligently scent marking and guarding a section of a small ficus shrub we have on our deck. Only the males do this and a close inspection under magnification showed me the small fuzz on his face that he uses to spread his pheromones. Since I'm sure you're dying to see him, I'll pop a shot in Extra. Also saw the first Japanese Beetles of the year - engaged in making next year's pesky JBs. Well, at least I take comfort in knowing that the blue jays love to eat them.
It has been over 5 years since we stopped using any sorts of chemicals on our lawn and the increase in insect diversity has been amazing. Maybe it's that I am just looking more now, but I also think the combination of eliminating toxins and adding lots of native pollinator plants has really helped.
I slept very late this morning so missed my little window of opportunity to take the kayak out. By the time I got up it was already too hot and humid. I'll try again tomorrow. We are in for 3 over-90 days with high humidity so being outside for any length of time is uncomfortable and dangerous. And speaking of uncomfortable and dangerous, today will be the hottest day yet in the PNW. Beaverton, where my parents live, is forecasted to hit 117 F today, breaking all previous records. Mom and Dad are staying in and managing to keep their condo at a pleasant temperature. I hope all my other friends in the region are also staying safe.
Rash continues to improve and I am using less stuff on it now. Fatigue continues to hit me in the afternoon - not any better yet as far as I can tell. But all in all, progress. Probably most importantly, I feel on a more even footing mentally and emotionally now.
Chocolate with blood orange today...