“You notice, by the way, that we never have a meeting with an alien. It’s always an encounter.” ― Jack McDevitt
Also known as a Scorpion Wasp due to their appearance, or more correctly, American Pelecinid Wasp. These alien looking creatures look like they may have come from a child’s nightmare, but the long tail, which resembles a scorpion’s stinger as actually used by the wasp to deposit its egg on grubs underground.
So, from a human standpoint it’s no real threat. But to a grub, it’s a horror story. You see, the long stinger allows the wasp to deposit eggs on grubs while they are still underground, by poking through the dirt and inserting the eggs onto the living grub. As the single egg hatches, the wasp’s own grub begins to eat the host from inside.
The wasp itself is a nectar feeder, usually flying low and can often be seen on bushes and low growing plants. It’s primary benefit is the control of beetle populations by using their grubs as hosts.
iPhone 5s back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 1/30 sec; f/2.2; ISO 50
“To dwellers in a wood, almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature.” ― Thomas Hardy
As I walk the trails, I can’t help but be amazed at the colours and textures of the stumps and standing dead trees along the way. I’ve started a collection of these aged and aging forest statues, each so unique in its appearance, yet somewhat similar. Some are recognizable as wood, while others, gnarled, twisted and covered in moss and fungus, take on the appearance of something slightly alien. Each tree species has its own unique character and form and tends to become habitat to specific mosses and other growths.
There are those that stand for years, bare and smooth, weathering the elements and bleaching in the sun, while others, fall and turn quickly into a spongy, mossy heap, home to mushrooms, mosses, and ferns.
Nikon D300 Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200