Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Great Blue Heron Cometh...

For two days in a row now, a Great Blue Heron has been flying in and staking out a spot next to the pond at dusk, almost punctually, at around 5:30pm. None of the pictures I took of him yesterday came out because of poor lighting, but today I managed to pull off one semi-decent shot.


A gorgeous bird with quite the wing span. But my initial thrill is starting to wane as I realize that this creature's single-minded purpose is not to manifest itself for my viewing pleasure, but rather to methodically decimate our goldfish population. But, hey - if you create the ecosystem, then they will come.  Resistance is futile. Just gotta make sure the fishies have enough plant or rock cover to help them evade the great blue terror...

On a different animal subject, I found a weird looking insect clinging to our patio door last weekend. I'm generally not very captivated by six-legged arthropods, unless they are of unusual color or appearance. But this one fell somewhere in between.


I'm really stumped for what it is, and when that happens, I invariably kick into OCD overdrive.

Other than U.C. Press's Introduction to California Beetles, the only other field guide I have on hand is Insects of the Los Angeles Basin. Since I instinctively knew that this could not be a beetle, I skipped the first book and dove right into the second, ignoring the fact that we are not located in the LA basin. Heck, flying insects get around, don't they? 

Anyways, this bug looks somewhere between a Common Snakefly (Agulla species) and an Ichneumon Wasp (Ophion species). If someone knows better, PUH-LEASE tell me, que es esto? and put me outta my misery!


  1. Hi,
    Great you got a nice photo of the heron! Try posting your bug at you will get the ID there.

  2. I just love herons and am so glad you got such a great photo, despite losing some fish :^) I used to enjoy seeing white herons visit the golf courses I used to work on. They are just so majestic.

  3. Hi Randy,
    Really appreciate the tip - I will definitely try posting this guy on for a positive ID. Btw, I just checked out their website, and what a fantastic resource for everything and anything that is "bug."

    Thanks again!

  4. Hi Noelle,
    I really love herons, too. In Taiwan, where I was born and raised, the heron was a familiar motif that was commonly portrayed in a lot of the local Chinese art and brush paintings. It's not only a symbol of peace, but the word "heron" itself in Chinese translates to something like "the path" or "the way."