Hiking through a meadow on a sunny, summer afternoon I spotted this beautiful black snake resting just off the hiking trail. In my experience black snakes are fearless of humans and this one was no exception. I got close enough to get this picture with my iPhone and the snake didn’t seem in the least bit interested or concerned.
At first I thought the beetle on this thin-leaved sunflower was a soldier beetle but something didn’t look quite right. Looking more closely I’ve identified it as a Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle. According to insectidentification.org, the Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle is highly beneficial in their predation of aphids. As a bonus, their quest for insect prey turns them into efficient pollinators.
It’s been a very busy summer and I haven’t spent as much time with my camera as I would have liked so I’m pulling out some photos from last year that I never got around to publishing.
This Black Eyed Susan was growing in a forest meadow alongside wild daisies. It looked sort of like the odd man out, surrounded by white flowers. I took a few photos of the lone blooming Black Eyed Susan surrounded by Daisies but I preferred this more closely cropped image of the flower.