If you want to see some scary exotic creatures on the hunt, you could buy yourself a camera with a lens as long as its price tag, then book an even more expensive safari to the far side of the world.
Or, you could pick up a half-decent magnifying glass, lie down in your backyard or in a weedy vacant lot, and take a close look at the passing pageant of insects.
For this post I ventured no further than my yard, at most about 30 meters from the house.
The great thing about looking closely for small insects is that you will also see more of the beautiful detail in leaves, grasses and flowers.
Above, the tiny leaves of a new shrub willow catch the morning sun. Below, one of many varieties of grass now going to seed.
While I studied grass seed a bright beetle came in for a landing.
The same creature landed on an Alfalfa plant a few minutes later.
Since I’m not sure what kind of beetle this is (perhaps a Longhorn Beetle?), I can’t be sure if it was chewing the holes in the leaves, or waiting to chew on the bug who was chewing on the leaves.
There was no such ambiguity in another scene of combat.
Some wasps eat spiders and some spiders eat wasps, but in this case a Candy Stripe Cobweb Weaver was methodically wrapping up what appeared to be a Blackjacket Wasp, who soon gave up struggling.
The wild Yellow Salsify flowers attract early-rising pollinators – but they gradually close up when the sun gets hot in mid-morning.
Daisy Fleabane, on the other hand, takes a few hours to unfurl in the morning and its purple-pink petals gradually take on a bleached appearance by mid-afternoon. Like the Salsify it makes a great photo backdrop for many insects, in this case the beautiful Musca Domestica.
The Calligrapha beetle is named for the distinctive patterns on its shiny shell. The Calligrapha Amator, below, is popularly known as the Ontario Calligrapha though it is also reported in Quebec.
Perhaps the flashiest bug in our yard is the Green Metallic Sweat Bee, here photographed on a chive bloom.
But this unidentified spider, spotted on the same alium, is awfully photogenic too.