Jan 122015
 
Urban Species Profile:: Hover Flies

One of my favorite insects to find in the city, and they’re incredibly easy to see if you know what to look for, are the hover flies. The family Syrphidae contains about 6,000 species (890 in North America). They’re known as Syrphid flies but more commonly they’re called hover flies or flower flies, and can be found around the world in a variety of habitats. You’ve possibly seen them but mistaken them for a bee, as many of them resemble them so convincingly, their images are often wrongly used on articles about bees. Look a little closer and you’ll see these are not bees; they …continue reading

Dec 302014
 
5 Favorite Backyard Habitat Photos of 2014

When I sat down to write the previous post, 5 Favorite Washington Nature Photos of 2014, I nearly had an anxiety attack trying to pick only a few photos. Instead of putting myself through that, I decided to do a series of three posts and today I’m sharing my 5 favorite photographs I took in my very own yard. When we moved in, the yard consisted of a maple tree, lilac, forsythia and a few odd rhododendrons. The backyard was nearly all lawn. Over the last two years we’ve dug and planted and while it’s still relatively small, the habitat …continue reading

Sep 172014
 
Book Review:: Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden

As one who spends a fair amount of time crawling around my yard in search of interesting insects, I was, needless to say, excited to see a new book from Timber Press with the title Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control. It’s written by horticulturist and self-proclaimed ‘bug lover’ Jessica Walliser. With a quick glance through the book, it’s easy to see it’s up to the typical high standard of Timber Press books and full of wonderful and inspiring images of beautiful bug-friendly gardens. As this is not a typical sort of book that …continue reading

Sep 162013
 
Monday Musings

Monday Musings is a new feature at The Metropolitan Field Guide which will offer one of my photographs along with a poem or a quote relating to some aspect of natural history. For the inaugural edition, this is a poem by John Clare, an English poet from the 1800’s who was known at the time as  “the Northamptonshire Peasant Poet” although he felt he didn’t belong among the peasants. Insects Monday Musings was last modified: October 12th, 2014 by Kelly Brenner

Aug 092013
 
Book Review:: Ladybirds

The newly released 2nd edition of Ladybirds is number 10 in Pelagic Publishing’s Naturalist’s Handbook series. If this series sounds familiar it’s because I reviewed the Bumblebees book here and found it a phenomenal resource for learning about the life history of bumblebees. Thus I was very excited to receive a copy of Ladybirds and hoped it would be just as enlightening about a very common insect. I found I wasn’t disappointed and learned a great deal about an insect which we often overlook simply because they’re everywhere. Like Bumblebees it focuses on British species, but the first few chapters are about …continue reading

Mar 022012
 
Friday Film:: New Wild Garden

Today’s Friday Film features an inside look at the New Wild Garden from the 2011 Chelsea RHS Flower Show designed by Nigel Dunnett filmed by Dusty Gedge. The garden features a great many elements for wildlife including a stone wall for habitat with built-in insect shelters as well as an insect wall for solitary bees and other insects on the shelter. The shelter is constructed out of a reused shipping container by Green Roof Shelters and includes a green roof designed for biodiversity. Also part of the design is a beautiful rain garden which captures overflow water from the green roof …continue reading