On this date 13

probably Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp Ophion with pine pollen
This week, we’re going back just three years, partially because this image shows typical conditions for the season, which is the deluge of pine pollen that occurs. Those are the little yellow specks all over the main subject, which I am taking to be a short-tailed ichneumon wasp (Genus Ophion) – that seems to be what BugGuide is indicating, though their listed identifying characteristics are all not visible in this photo, so who knows? Those long antennae are impressive, but leave it up to entomologists to name the species after its smaller abdomen, instead – that’s just rude. Ichneumons are petite wasps that are parasitic in nature, laying their eggs in caterpillars so they hatch out in a living specimen and consume it from the inside – Darwin had some choice heretical words about this. They’re not protective of nests since they don’t have them, so as wasps go they’re mellow and not very reactive – you’d have to grab them to get stung.

And another from the same day, because. I was out at the nearby pond after sunset as the Canada geese were departing, so used the sparse twilight sky color as best I could.

Canada geese Branta candensis against post-sunset twilight

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