Spiders and beetles and moths, oh my [images]

Weather this week was weird, but that didn’t prevent me from venturing outside to track down more of the Vale’s biodiversity.

No insects (or arachnids) were harmed in the making of this compilation.

The last photo I took at the kvu. Calosoma scrutator (Caterpillar hunter) on the Language Building.


Hoverfly on a wild daisy.


Return of the grasshopper girls.


Desecrating my fig tree.
Fungal growth on a dead tree stump. Also – see that glowing red eye there?


Fungi fans! Do you know what kind of mushroom this is?


Green treefrog sunbathing on a plant. I almost walked right past it.


Female wolf spider on porch.


Banded tiger moth.


Excuse me, who are you? This is a private library!


  1. “Fungi fans! Do you know what kind of mushroom this is?”

    Our family has a long history of mushroom gathering, so I qualify as a semi-professioanl грибник. This one looks like poisonous leucocoprinus brebissonii, commonly known in Russian as “белонавозник” (literaly – “white manure mushroom”).


      • Well, they do тще look your typical edible mushrooms, like e.g., опята (eng. “honey fungi”),

        OTOH – that’s some fungi from another hemisphere. Here we won’t start “hunting” them till August.

        Anywya, on wikigrib.ru I’ve found this:


        The site also has the option of posting a photo of your mushroom and asking the registered users about it. Here Ivan from Kremenchug posts photos of musrooms that looks like the ones you photoed. People say it’s “syeriy navoznik” (the grey, not the white one).

        They are not actually poisonous, but not quite edible either. They don’t mixt well with the alcohol and, honestly, I can’t recall any recipe for dishes with them. Or can you even preserve them, via drying or canning?


        • Hmm. While sery navoznik does grow in the Southeast US, it looks too big (and its cap too round) to be my specimen.

          Fairy ink caps are edible, though not recommended; they’re insubstantial and barely have taste at all.


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