Syrphid Sunday

It’s easy enough to find beautiful flowers, now that the weather has warmed up, but you need to look really close to spot one of these beautiful little syrphid flies. There’s a whole range of these predatory flies, often dressed in beelike yellow and black. Some like this Allograpta obliqua are hover flies. You might […]


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Killer Maggots

Remember the syrphid fly that was laying eggs the other day? Well, they hatched. And the larvae are just that: larval. I mean ladybug larva are pretty cool looking. Even caterpillars can be cute. But this? This is a soulless, horrible maggot. On the bright side, they suck the juice out of aphids. They’re not […]

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Hover flies

I keep finding more syrphid flies. These last few days, I’m seeing a lot of yet another kind. Some mornings at least half a dozen of them are checking out the sweet alyssum. They hover and zip aside and hover and zip back and hover and come for a landing on the flowers. This is […]

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Syrphid flies

Today felt almost summery, so here’s some more bugs from earlier in the summer. Syrphid flies this time.  I admire how much they look like bees until you get close enough to spot those big fly eyes. Sometimes I don’t even realize what I saw until I upload the pictures from the camera, they’re so […]

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Not a bee, but an amazing simulacrum!

There’s a ton of native asters that are hard to distinguish, as I discovered after spending easily a confused hour pondering my wildflower book. I finally decided that it’s Heart-Leaved Aster overflowing in my back yard with huge plumes of pale lavender-to-white flowers feeding lots of happy bees. Except one of them is a syrphid […]

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The coneflowers have been feeding bees for weeks now. So have the veronica, the wood sorrel, the St. John’s wort, and the bladder campion. It’s starting to get boring, all that growing and flowering and growing and flowering. Even the squash blossoms are getting familar. So it’s nice to see goldenrod join the crowd, complete […]

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Virginia Creeper

Virginia creeper is one of those plants you have to keep an eye on and hack back when it goes too far. It grows so robustly because it’s a native plant, and also because it’s a native, the bees love it so much that you can hear the vines buzzing.

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Tricky Bugs

I was so sure this was a syrphid fly, but bugGuide has set me straight: it’s a Narcissus Bulb Fly Merodon equestris. At least it’s in the syrphid family. And I do have actual syrphid flies, but they’re much smaller than Mr. Bumblebee Fakeout Merodon.

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The Hunt For Little Bees

I’ve always been endlessly fascinated by all the little bugs in my yard, flitting about on their mysterious bug business. Now that I can get close-up pictures of them I feel like a new window has opened upon their world. That’s how I discovered how wrong I was about which weed they would like. What […]

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Syrphid fly?

Here’s some more flowers the bees are visiting. Not to mention another example of why the violets get free rein in my yard: they look nice next to the azaleas. Yesterday I thought I saw a bumblebee, but its buzz had that whiny fly quality. Probably a syrphid fly; they look a lot like bees […]

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