Cranefly orchid is now in bloom. This delicate looking flower is hard to spot and hard to photograph. I was unable to get a nice shot of just one of the flowers, but I was able to get this picture...
I think it shows really well how in the shade of the forest, these slender stalks are hard to see. This cluster of three is off trail, but we do have a very nice single stalk flagged for you on the Casa Burro trail. Ask a naturalist for the location.
The Unexpected is the theme for the rest of the blog post, but it started with the cranefly orchid. While trying to get nice pictures of it, I noticed something was happening.
A closer look showed me a very small spider feasting on a very small insect. It looks to me like some kind of fly. Wouldn't it be neat if it was in fact, a Crane Fly?
A closer look at the plant revealed another interesting creature.
The elongated snout and elbowed antennae make this a weevil! I have no idea what kind, but it sure is neat. I had to use the flash to obtain these photos, but it happened to reveal some striking colors on this insect. Thanks to the ability to crop photos this weevil looks big in the picture, but in reality, he is only a few millimeters.
I really wanted to do a butterfly post, but instead of butterflies, I found The Unexpected.
A deer sporting her rusty-colored summer coat hanging out on the boardwalk!
A small, green Bull Frog sitting pretty on a big lily pad. She was ready for her close-up!
A beaver tail print in the mud. I found this on the dam the beavers maintain around the spillway.
Finally, a very large colony of bryozoans over by the spillway in the big pond. Bryozoans are also known as moss animals. They are colonial creatures (like corals) and can be found in still areas of clean fresh water. Most species however live in marine environments.
Meanwhile, summer is plugging away here at Wahkeena and of course the dragonflies are still quite abundant. In addition to this amberwing, we should start to see the meadowhawks soon.
There are also a few more summer wildflowers in bloom, including this beautiful red Swamp Rose Mallow. Here are some others:
Mad Dog Skullcap
Sweet Black-eyed Susan