Insect “Porn”: Palo Duro Canyon Style

Pair of dragonflies mating above “water”—that is, the hood of a silver-colored vehicle.

Here you can see the female attempt to lay her eggs in the “water.” It’s sad to think that after their profound efforts to find a worthy place to reproduce, none of their eggs will find a suitable environment to become adult dragonflies. You can see the smattering of eggs layering the hood of the vehicle.

Even if they had to share their love in public, at least these beetles found a beautiful place to “do it.”

ORGY!

“Hey honey, I know a nice place beyond this dry arroyo where we can enjoy a big, juicy salad. Sound good? I’ll just get a little closer so I can whisper it in your ear. Yeah, like that…”

Spring was in the air. Wildflowers were blooming, grass was greening, allergens were flying, and…all the creatures around us were getting frisky with each other.

Welcome to Palo Duro Canyon—in the fall! At least that’s how it was this week when we spent a couple of days camping there.

Here in Palo Duro Canyon, we found the “red light” (or perhaps, more accurately, the “red dirt”) district for insects. I guess it’s appropriate when you realize that palo duro means “hard wood” in Spanish. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.) I thought I’d be seeing some incredible vistas (which I did—and I still have a ton more photos to edit to prove it), but I hadn’t counted on being such a—well—incredible (if unwitting) voyeur at the same time.

Although we actually got to enjoy a thunderstorm while we were camping, there was still very little running water in the canyon—at least in the areas we explored. I imagine this accounts for the dragonflies’ desperation in using the hood of a vehicle, instead of flowing water, as a repository for their progeny. Unfortunately, I don’t think the little ones will live long and prosper. I believe this is a pair of skimmers, perhaps roseate skimmers?

A side trail off a main trail through the canyon led us through a meadow of colorful wildflowers. Here we also encountered thousands of mating beetles—what I suspect are some kind of soldier beetles. Since I think the bright, yellow flowers inhabited by these beetles are a form of goldenrod, perhaps these are a variation of the goldenrod soldier beetle (even though the markings on the back are not quite exactly the same in these examples).

The last happy couple pictured here didn’t even bother to get out of our way as we headed down the trail. They really didn’t have a care in the world. Grasshoppers are perhaps the most abundant insect in the canyon, and we saw and heard (and were bombarded by) plenty during our short visit. I believe those pictured are examples of the Carolina Grasshopper (or Locust).

Any entomologists visiting who would like to correct or elaborate on my attempts at taxonomy here are encouraged to comment!

Advertisements

One thought on “Insect “Porn”: Palo Duro Canyon Style

  1. Pingback: Here’s Looking at You, Kid… « Sterling Starling Creations

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: