As far back as the Devonian Period, some 340 million to 400 million years ago, insects invaded the dry land, guided by a still mysterious force enabling an aquatic nymph to become a terrestrial flying dragon capable of feeding and reproducing its own species with certain ease.
In exchange for cross-pollination, the moth imbibes fructose and glucose, natural sugars, to prolong its life and in time promote its own DNA. Thirsty wasps will bee-line to bump a butterfly off the oasis, as if to claim "Save some nectar or pollen for us!"
Despite the cool spring weather, waves of warblers and songbirds are reaching their familiar feeding grounds, in the deciduous woodlands and sylvan edges, like the banks of the Hoosic River in North Adams.
But many beetles degrading and destroying our forestlands summon us to rally in support of effective means to control destructive species that can decimate large stands of our very important trees. Many beetle species and their larvae are equipped with stout jaws or mandibles that are adept at chewing and shredding wood.
The most obvious beetle in the milkweed patch is the rosy red milkweed beetle (Tetraopes tetraophthalumus), surprisingly hard to find in any beetle/insect book. Go Google. Occupying a restricted niche, it is found almost exclusively foraging on milkweed leaves and blossoms.
In pursuit of beetle happiness, I can cast a note of optimism about the many beetles at large in museums and private collections, that may bring us a profound joy, allowing our sense of inquiry to thrive like a child set loose in New York's American Museum of Natural History.
Following a zigzag erratic flight of what looked like a common little wood satyr, a closer look when it roosted on a blade of grass before I could close the shutter, what flew off turns out to be a heretofore unlisted satyrid for Mountain Meadow, the multi-Argus-eyed northern pearly eye.
I am tempted to exchange the formerly excepted word "flutterflies" into our vernacular, since "flutterflies" does describe the way flutterflies fly, replacing or interchanging at leisure the bold genre in "butterflies," since butterflies do flutter about, to find nectar, or to look for a potential mate.
As time passed, I counted five ducklings able to catch a ride on mamma's back, while the rest paddled wildly behind, reminiscent of loons carrying baby loons while crossing an upland lake. This sighting is my first for river mergansers and caused in me a reserved jubilee, a quiet rejoicing that I might behold such a living pageant.
What a delightful sight to behold: a finest, kind choice by the forerunners who landscaped the churchyard with several crabapple trees that bloom a profuse pink and white cavalcade of blossoms in early spring.