Ladies and gentlemen…the Beetles!

Well, one beetle, at least. You’ve got to know by now that I’ve been dying to use that headline for days, and today’s the day I just couldn’t wait anymore. If any of you are gardeners, you know darn well that if there’s one beetle, there are sure to be more, right?

I found this handsome character on some milkweed as I was checking on the monarch caterpillars we first saw yesterday. It looks just like a ladybug, such as Coccinella septempunctata, but the antennae are too long, and it’s body is more oblong than round.

Instead, it looks closer in appearance to the handsome fungus beetle (Endomychus biguttatus) except that all the images I can find of them always have just four black spots, not the cool, hieroglyphic-looking pattern our hero is sporting. Man, if you haven’t already found a rabbit hole in the interwebs and are looking for a good one, try identifying some random beetle you found in the park. If you happen to know what it is, or have some time to blow searching, please let us know!

Meanwhile, I found another empty eggshell yesterday, and isn’t it a beauty?

It was on the mudflats right by the river, in a well-traveled area, so I’m pretty sure it didn’t hatch right there. Instead, it appears to be a killdeer egg, I’ve seen them along the edge of the parking lot across the river, and they are reported to carry their empty eggshells away, for security reasons. Clever birds, eh?

Finally, I spotted a different type of bird over the park this morning…

That’s a Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane, and yeah, I know it’s not very natural, but how often do you get to see a helicopter capable of carrying a 20,000-lb load? That’s 6.5 Prii! Based on its N-number, N6979R, it was built in 1968 and has a shiny new paint job. It’s task this morning was to replace one of the antennae on top of the WVTV tower across the river. I learned this from the friendly and talkative employee assigned to keep pedestrians out from under the flight path.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

One thought on “Ladies and gentlemen…the Beetles!

  1. Love your photos and comments of all the nearby natural treasures to be enjoyed in Estabrook Park. You also answered my question about why the unusual helicopter was flying in this area for so long this morning. I now recall that last year another antenna was replaced by a similar aircraft.


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