Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Morbid Hope

Flies on bird carcass.

All things end.
Embrace the end, accept it, and know that from an end spring many new beginning.
Of this I truly hope.
For a phase in my life is nearing its end, and I can't wait to experience what comes after. The closer I get to the finishing line, the more unbearable the current phase becomes.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

Mom and I at one of the glacier sites in Jasper National Park, BC, Canada. Post-BSc. Tour, May 2006.

Mom and I at Cape Breton National Park, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Two things to note from these pictures:
1. Mom was wearing so many layers of clothes a dumpling ar!
2. My face was much 'meatier' four years ago. face now ...sigh.

National parks, and the great outdoors made up >80% of my post-BSc. tour of Canada. I was particularly fortunate that not only did my mom share my preference, she also had the physical prowess to hike those trails. So awesome!

Ooh...hahhaa...writing this bring back very very good memories of our trip. All the silly things we did.

Luckily our next post-graduate tour is coming soon~ Oct 2010. This time I will be richer so we won't have to eat microwave-oven-quick-prepared-food mom! hahaha.

Thanks for everything.

Monday, May 3, 2010

An Aphid's Worst Nightmare

Can you guess what insect this is?

It's a larva of a ladybug (ladybird/lady beetle). I think this was a Multicolored Asian Ladybug.

The first time I saw a ladybug larva, I couldn't make the connection. The adults and larvae look too different! I mean...look at some adults of the Sevenspotted Ladybug.

Ladybugs feed on many insects (those small enough to be eaten of course), but they are widely used as vicious predators of aphids, a pest of many agricultural and ornamental plants. Aphids can be really annoying, especially when they grow to high densities, make the plant all sticky and then take off and land in my eyes as I bike. Grrr...

 Nevertheless, I can't help but /cry for them aphids for having to suffer the tyranny of... what must seem to them a MONSTER/HERALD-OF-THE-WORLD'S END.

For the ladybug larvae, they feed and grow by going through multiple stages (instars). Between each instar they got to molt, and here is an exuvia of a molt.

At the final instar, the larvae turn into pupae. Two pupae of two different species are shown here in this picture.

Here is a pic of a pupa from which an adult ladybug has already emerged. Another ladybug to terrorize aphids!

*all pictures were taken in Davis, California, USA. Most were taken just outside my apartment.