cody bear's friends

the boys are back!!
June 20, 2009, 8:13 pm
Filed under: bees, insects, nature, photography, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

i can’t believe how lucky i am!  for the second year in a row there is an aggregation of one of my favorite bees…the agapostemon!

they’re back, and this time….i have a macro on hand!

aggies09last year we discovered them in august and they hung around till mid november, numbers dwindling near the end of that time.  it was sad.

i didn’t want them to leave. i was sure the next generation wouldn’t approve of my trees.  but they’ve returned.

two nights in a row they have been on the same branch, a bunch of males, just under 50 or so, bedding down for the night.  (last year they were on a tree right next to them on a slightly lower branch.

aggies2around 10pm the bulk of the bees have landed.  they spend much of the night walking over eachother, looking for the perfect spot.   late into the night they settle down into a deep sleep, eyes still appearing to be open, but antennae dropped in slumber.  they’re early risers, gone before i wake up around 6-6:30 ish.

i feel very lucky to have this interesting wildlife situation right outside my back door.

oh, and by the way…if you want to see other photos of small things from nature, you can visit my photoblog.

mysteries of the desert underground
December 10, 2008, 4:10 pm
Filed under: dogs | Tags: , , , , ,

i, for one, have always wondered what it looks like under there…

who knew!!!???

it’s totally not what i imagined!

(seriously, does anyone know where this picture was taken? clue: it’s a scientific landmark.)

be mindful of the sharks with the laserbeams on their heads…
September 27, 2008, 4:42 am
Filed under: friends, life | Tags: , , , , ,

welcome to my underground lair.  ok…not MY underground lair, but someone’s underground lair.

we went on a field trip today….it made me really want to go some where far away.  it was very fun but we got drenched in rain.

i’m too tired to be blogging.

good night.

up close and personal….with bean sized buzzers
August 19, 2008, 5:52 am
Filed under: animals, bees, insects, nature, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , ,

i’m so excited about this bee post!!!

remember how i said the bees were small?  well, i took some pictures of them while they were sleeping tonight and in one shot i held a ball point pen next to one.  see?  they are smaller than a black bean!  that’s very small.

and do you see how he is holding onto his branch with his mandibles?

3 bees were already resting, but since they were so small i wouldn’t have noticed them.  but a fourth bee came up and was hovering around for a few seconds before he bedded down.

i’m excited about these photos because….i think i am not going to buy a macro now. i think i love my lens. and i’m super glad i found these tiny bees all by myself!

isn’t the anthophorid bee amazing?  apparently the tiny metallic dot above his big green eye is another eye, one that senses daylight and darkness.

look at how closely the bees are sleeping!

good night bees.

tonight…on my kitchen table….the galls…

ready for the answer to yesterday’s science question???


photo courtesy of buzzybeegirl

photo courtesy of buzzybeegirl

is a GALL!!! an insect gall! “what!?” you ask!?

i know, right! i can’t believe i have never heard of these before. and apparently my back yard is riddled with them, yet i only noticed them today. (why did i never notice them? well it could be because i am stupid and not very observant…orrrrr ….it could be because my dogs are so cute i never focus on anything but them!)

they never told us about galls in any of my literature or liberal arts classes at university! fancy that!

outside of my biology and entomology pals a.h. and r., so far no one i have asked has ever heard of these. apparently they’re all over the place!

i emailed her first thing this morning and she knew exactly what it was. and….we could dissect it if we wanted to! “okay!” i said. (virtual high five)

warning: the following pictures are great, but they do contain a tiny benign critter or two. i do hope you’ll continue viewing.

photo courtesy of buzzybeegirl

photo courtesy of buzzybeegirl

a.h. dissected the balls and found that each rosette seen from the outside contained a little tunnel and in each tunnel was one of a variety of insect babies. we found 3 species in one of the living galls. they may even eat eachother, but who knows.

photo courtesy of buzzybeegirl

photo courtesy of buzzybeegirl

that one above is actually in a tiny cocoon. let’s note, the creosote gall seemed like a strange mutant broccoli, that was sticky with a sap-like substance. we all expected it to be more hollow, like a nut, containing the larvae, but instead it was dense plant matter with several small tunnels.

the more tiny larvae she found, the itchier my head became. (probably why the scientific community will never take me seriously….my low “skeev tolerance.”)

there i placed a tiny gall in front of the larvae so you wouldn’t be as grossed out. but…that tiny gall has just one baby insect in it. perhaps one day it would have had more. these babies were either wasps or flies or aphids. not really sure.

it was fun and nerdy. i hope you weren’t too grossed out. i hope instead you were like “wow! i never knew about those crazy things!”

and don’t you appreciate the pictures!? i love buzzybeegirl’s photos because she used her BAM….Big Ass Macro!

tonight’s virtual prize goes to hannah and dave for guessing “or some other parasite.” good job!

if you like this post, or insects,…or quizzes, buzzybeegirl just put a quiz up and will reveal the answer wednesday. personally, her quiz is easier than the gall quiz, if you ask me.

this is NOT a topiary
August 11, 2008, 7:16 pm
Filed under: nature | Tags: , , , , ,

oooh ahhhh! come back tomorrow when we explain what THIS is!

(i’m so excited!!!)

maybe you know already!  maybe you want to guess and win one of my virtual prizes!

pleasey weasey lemon squeazey…venture a guess.

i have clues if you’re interrresteddddd…

flu and flew(yes…past tense of fly, so be warned)
May 11, 2008, 7:43 am
Filed under: animals, dogs, nature, pets, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , ,

i was down for the count today. woke up with some flu thing. i was feeling better this afternoon, but that was short lived. and i’m so thirsty!

but, that didn’t stop the blogging muse from leading me to a topic. some of you may not like this one:

i went to drop off the pictures to r and a from their “shoot” with the dogs. we got to chatting. 2 topics came up: 1. they’re getting married! wonderful news! 2. bees.

and bees let to a bringing out her bug trays!

not too bad. who doesn’t love a butterfly, right? and don’t most people learn to love moths eventually, as well?

but then…

for the love of all that’s holy!

that big ass beetle, the one who looks like a death machine from a milla jovovich movie? that’s the palo verde beetle. some of you may remember the story of my cat befriending the one who was trying to assassinate me last summer….only that one was twice the size of this dead guy.

moving on…

yes, that is a hissing cockroach.

let’s cleanse our visual pallet with a butterfly…

and here’s hoju, howling…

you can catch more of him on my photoblog,

so, i didn’t stay long. and now i’m blogging because i can’t sleep since i don’t feel well. not to complain. just mentioning why i’m up is all…..

a dog with gastroparesis extends his e-paw to other ailing dogs
December 13, 2007, 9:20 pm
Filed under: animals, canine, dog, dogs, gastroparesis, health, mutts, pets | Tags: , , , , ,


A couple weeks ago I posted about cody bear’s ongoing gastroparesis challenges. Some bloggers were super-supportive of his plight, mind you, which we really appreciate!

Well, since that post I have been monitoring the very cool “blog stats” feature of wordpress and have found that people are actually searching for info on this illness by using phrases that range from “dog gastroparesis” to “inner workings of a dog’s stomach”.


So, I googled “gastroparesis dogs” and our blog came right up as the second site! I figured that since wordpress is so searchable, this site could actually be a good forum for people who have dogs with gastroparesis.

Typically this is a light-hearted blog with chit chat about my dog, my cat, my really cool bike, but from time to time I will talk about cody bear’s experiences with gastroparesis. Just skip the posting if you’re not interested, but come back frequently, because it will still be the same old blog. A blog that loves dogs and loves visitors.

And for those of you that have a dog with gastroparesis, please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you about things like symptoms, treatment, what dog breed.

One last sort of related note:

Like many canine illnesses, sometimes a symptom of gastroparesis is fear or aggression. This is big news people! If you have a dog that is acting angry or aggressive, PLEASE TAKE THEM TO THE VET RIGHT AWAY.

  1. it could be a serious illness
  2. many dogs are given away each year because of bad behavior; behavior that more than likely could go away by treating a medical condition
  3. an amazingly high percentage of dog bites have been linked to the cause of aggression due to illness.

We’ll talk about more of this later.

for now, click HERE to see what cody looks like when he is feeling well, which is most of the time, and click HERE to see what he looks like when his tummy is acting up.

…for more tid bits on gastroparesis in dogs…click on the “gastroparesis” word in the “tag cloud” at the left of this blog.

cheek swab shmeek shwab!
November 30, 2007, 1:25 am
Filed under: animals, dogs, pets | Tags: , , , , , ,

unraveling doggie dna (part 2): note the TONGUE folks:

this is a follow up to “who am i? where did i come from? can i have a cookie?”


note: i received cody bear’s results a week ago…but i was vacillating between “hopping mad” and incredulous.

the canine heritage breed test found ZERO chow in this overly fluffy, solid purple tongued, bear of a dog. they do claim to have found traces of….afghan hound. other than that, the test results are inconclusive.

greeeeaaaaat! money well spent. sorry collective hannah…we know you’re as disappointed as we are!