Saturday, September 13, 2008

Camera Critter Meme #23

Those who have followed my photography, know one of my favorite areas to shoot is along the Dry Canyon Trail centrally located on the north side of Redmond, Oregon. The trail is more than three miles long and winds through typical high desert lands with high desert plants and creatures.

When I arrive at the bottom of the canyon, my eyes immediately go into scan mode, watching everything which happens around me. A little less than a month ago, I was glad I was in scan mode.

I had been watching a beetle walk around a sage plant when I caught something flying by out of the corner of my eye. I glanced in the direction of the movement and noticed a Thread-waisted Wasp sitting in a nearby sage plant where it landed. But it didn't look quite right.

At first I thought the wasp had a stick in its mouth. As I looked closer and watched, the wasp began to move around with the "stick." It was then I noticed the "stick" was actually a caterpillar, most likely that of the Common Oak Moth. Curious, I continued to shoot and watch in an effort to find out what was happening.


One of the things I was most curious about, was the caterpillar wasn't putting up any type of resistance. I assumed the wasp had stung it or bit it and it was now incapacitated. Then the wasp dropped to the ground, still holding the caterpillar.

As I tried to get into position for a photo, the wasp began to back up. It was then I noticed a nearby hole and realized the wasp was moving towards it.

While trying to get into good photo position, I realized the wasp had repositioned the caterpillar. It had moved around to the back side of the caterpillar and was now dragging it backwards towards the hole. The last I saw of the wasp was its head. I then watched him drag dinner down the hole and disappear from sight.


Had I not been watching the going-ons around me, I never would have witness an everyday happening in nature. And by being in the right place at the right time, I was able to bring it to everyone through Misty's wonderful and fun, Camera Critter Meme.

24 comments:

Ladynred said...

Yap! I see the caterpillar..Cool shots..

Misty Dawn said...

I love reading your experiences and seeing your photos. I consider myself extremely lucky to have you as one of my best friends... besides, one of the bonuses is I get to see your awesome shots and hear your stories before anyone else ;-)

Yen said...

Those are some pretty cool shots. Thanks for sharing your experiences too!~I posted mine too, HERE! Happy CC!~

bobbie said...

Very interesting experience.

Dirk said...

Fantastic set of pictures. Great captured. Thanks for joining these with us!

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Fascinating series. Well done.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Well good for you. It sounded like you had a wonderful experience. Thank you for sharing it with us. Lisa

Me and my puppies said...

How very cool that you were there to witness this!

ratmammy said...

fascinating!!! i love watching creatures like that, doing their daily business.

Reader Wil said...

Not only are you a good photographer but also a great story teller. I clicked on the photos to enlarge them. They are very sharp.

i beati said...

truly amazing nature sandy

fishing guy said...

Ash: Very cool story of the wasp and moth capture.

Cathy said...

Wonderful words and photos!

Lapa37 said...

Very cool you sure were in the right place at the right time.

Mimi Lenox said...

Wow. Wonderful shots here.
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babooshka said...

Your're like me. You have a favourite spot for wildlife pics. I love your shots, such varied wildlife and today nature at work. Exceptional post by text and images.

A Blog In The Rough said...

Look out Discovery channel or Animal Planet channel here you come! Great shots! :)

arlene said...

what happened to the caterpillar? did it really died?

am allergic to anything in the bee family. my doctor told me next bite might get me dead. :D so am scared of flying thing like that. :)

jenn said...

Very cool!

healingmagichands said...

What a great series! I truly enjoyed this post. Except that that caterpillar was probably not the wasp's dinner. Wasps generally eat the things they want for dinner right where they find them. Your wasp was most likely stocking the larder for her larva to feed on. She will drag it into her burrow, lay an egg on it, possibly put a few more items in that compartment, and then build a little wall sealing that larva from the next one, do the whole thing over again.

tootie said...

Wow, great photos and description to go with them. You were there at just the right time, and all of us got to be there! Thanks!

Tommy V said...

Fabulous catch. I like it

Gretchen said...

Really interesting shots!

Mama Zen said...

Wow! Awesome series of pictures!