Category Archives: Animals

A wasp in the grass

A wasp clambers through the grass
A wasp clambers through the grass

I noticed this wasp clambering through the grass one day recently. It made no attempt to fly, but didn’t seem damaged in any way. Its movements were a bit frenetic and, frankly, it looked a bit insane. So naturally, I got down on my hands and knees and shoved my camera into its face, taking photos!

I shoved enough that at one point the wasp climbed onto the lens and up onto the camera. At that point I decided discretion was the better part of photography, set my camera down in the grass, and waited for it to finish its exploration and stagger away, which it duly did.

A wasp clambers through the grass

Passion Vine Butterfly on a Zinnia Violacea flower

Passion Vine Butterfly on a Zinnia Violacea flower in Hawaii

Following on from yesterday’s post about the lack of rain at Upolu, it occurred to me that I rarely see Passion Vine Butterflies there these days. They used to be all over the place, but now I’m lucky to see one or two. I don’t think it’s related to the lack of rainfall, but don’t know what other factors might be involved.

Small Indian Mongoose

A mongoose in Hawaii

A Small Indian Mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) surveys its surroundings. Easily distinguished by its short legs, long body and tail, and beady red eyes, this mongoose is the poster child for bad ideas in Hawaii. It was deliberately introduced to get rid of rats, which it didn’t do. Instead, it has decimated native bird populations on all the islands except Kaua’i, where it is still, officially, absent.

Cricket on a white anthurium

A beetle on an anthurium flower in Hawaii
A beetle on an anthurium flower in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Macro or Close-ups.’ See more responses here.

I saw this cricket climbing up the spadix of a white anthurium at Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. As it neared the top, I zoomed in for a close up. I haven’t been able to find out what kind of cricket it is (open to suggestions), but I was very taken by its extravagantly long antennae.

For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, go to

Updated 9-17-2022: Thanks to Forest and Kim Starr at Hawaii Insect ID for pointing out this is probably a cricket, though exactly which kind remains unknown.

Horse and cattle

A horse scratches itself against a post

For some reason, one of the pastures at Upolu has recently been occupied by this horse and a handful of cattle. I’m not sure why the horse is in there, but on this day, while the cattle were standing around looking bored, the horse was furiously rubbing itself against a fence post. Afterwards, it too stood around looking bored!