BugGuide.Net ... Orange Assassin Bug - Pselliopus ... This insect was identified with help from this website. Nature lovers must visit here!

All I had to do to find this insect was to type "orange insect" into their search option...... and there it was!......and a photo to boot. I love this site. Check it out. Click on title above photo.

Even though the orange bug carries the name of assassin...... well it appears there is another assassin at work here in this photograph ;0) (the bug did escape the Chinese mantis as the day was very windy and the plant moved way too much)

Carolyn Hietala


Jack-In-The-Pulpit growing in my own front yard in Richmond, Virginia. Fine Art via Mother Nature!

I was feeling wishful for Summer again so at least it can be here in this photograph. Sunshine, warm breezes and watermelon...... oh yeah..... and let's not forget fresh tomatos.

Photo by Carolyn Hietala


"Lunch" as seen through the eyes of the Praying Mantis. This photograph gives the opportunity for you to step into the world of the mantid. Yummy!

I'm afraid it doesn't do very much for my appetite as the only orange food I crave is an orange. Definitely click twice on this photo to supersize!
Carolyn Hietala


Tiger Beetle ... I spent days this past summer trying to get close enough to photograph this quick little insect and finally succeeded.

I pleaded with Tiger to stand still but to no avail. Will try again with another one next year.

Carolyn Hietala


Chinese Praying Mantis egg case will wait patiently until spring at which time over a hundred babies will emerge. Life goes on.

Isn't it amazing how Mother Nature provides for the continuance of even the smallest of species on earth? The eggs are safely protected from the ravages of winter. Spring warmth will trigger hatching so let's hope a bird isn't watching for they would make quite an easy meal. (I will be moving this one to an inconspicuous spot to insure they do have a better chance of surviving.)

Carolyn Hietala


Woodland or Forest Lily ... beautiful orange wildflower towering above my head .. growing in a wetland environment.

Turk's Cap is a beautiful woodland lily and resides in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

Carolyn Hietala

Katydid Bathing Beauty! It took cool temperatures last night to slow this one down enough to photograph. Afraid it's in the Autumn of its life.

Yet another insect putting "foot in mouth."

A male named Katy.... wonder how he really feels about that! He sure is enjoying the sunshine.

Carolyn Hietala


100% of the proceeds will go straight to Sarvey Wildlife Care Center from this eBay auction of 15 miniature paintings by Art For Critters. SOLD

The Art for Critters artists present
the "Woodland Creatures" auction, featuring 15 ACEO
(2.5 x 3.5 inches) original miniature paintings.

100% of the proceeds
will go straight to Sarvey Wildlife Care Center,
a wonderful organization that helps wild animals
by providing wildlife rehabilitation and care,
educating the public to the needs of wildlife
and creating a sanctuary for wildlife.

Carolyn Hietala


Here's a photograph of a female Carolina mantis still laden with eggs. Males are not as easily photographed. She's beautiful amongst the Fall colors?

I discovered her yesterday but it was raining so I kept her overnight to photograph in the bright sun.

Now she is back residing where she was found.
Hope to get a glimpse of her offspring next year!

photo by Carolyn Hietala


PLEASE don't use a tripod to photograph a praying mantis...was content with the Rebel XT camera UNTIL it was placed on the tripod. Poor scared baby!

Guess it thought

it was a giant

threatening insect!


(glad it didn't

react that way

to me ;0)

photo by Carolyn Hietala


With assistance from a local entomologist we are 99% certain the subject of my oil painting is a Catalpa Sphinx Moth pupa! Will paint the moth too.

It has been almost a year since I collected this pupa to use in one of my paintings.

Yes it is still alive and moving......amazing!

Since I moved it indoors just before winter of 2005 it didn't receive the drop in temperature necessary to trigger it's emergence in spring.

Am so sorry I didn't find that out sooner as I have impatiently been waiting to paint the moth!

Now it will go into the refrigerator for two weeks and if all goes well....... immortalized in oil paint on canvas soon!

Keep your fingers crossed that all goes well. I surely hope it is able to emerge.
Carolyn Hietala

Southern Cricket Frog - I have to be careful not to step on these tiny frogs. We enjoy their nightly chorus along with their Bullfrog relatives.

Ever tried to catch one of these little guys?
You best have eaten your Wheaties that morning as they are quick!
An adorable little frog it is.

Carolyn Hietala


An entomologist could easily study the Praying Mantis in my Virginia yard! They are frequently seen and greedily accept insect "presents" I offer.

This caterpillar never had a chance with this expert hunter! Oh, what a tasty morsel. My Catalpa tree was being devoured by the caterpillars...... when full they would fall to the ground and become easy prey. (click on photograph to enlarge)


Apartment Living For Mushrooms? Yes even nature loves a community life.

Within the week these were gone......eaten by beetles!

Photographed by Carolyn Hietala


Male Eastern Box Turtle ... Update on female laying eggs in nest ... This must be Daddy with a visiting butterfly on his back!

I have been busy but just HAD to update my previous post about the female Eastern Box Turtle digging her nest. Daddy was found crossing our driveway within 50 feet of the nest site. Think he is responsible for her family way? No that is NOT a fake butterfly. It really landed as I shot the picture! What luck! So sweet. Couldn't ask for a better photograph of the "gentleman."

Carolyn Hietala


Southern Leopard new residing in the rain barrel or is it the frog jacuzzi?

Frog seems so happy sitting and swimming all day. At night the outside lights bring plenty of bugs to eat so I would say Frog has quite a life of luxury! Doesn't even mind me walking by.......just sits there very still but recognizes my Min Pin so dips right down in the safety of the water. Some smart Frog wouldn't you say?

Carolyn Hietala


Eastern Box Turtle digging hole to lay eggs in Richmond, Virginia. Imagine being there to catch such a rarity as they are so shy.

I was walking my Min Pin just before bedtime last night along our driveway when I spotted this lovely box turtle diligently preparing a nest to lay her eggs. I was able to get a few photos but didn't want to disturb her so this morning I checked the site and she had expertly covered it with debris. I would never have know she had been there and such a priviledge to witness. Even though I didn't see the actual depositing of the eggs.......I just know they are there!
Carolyn Hietala

Lodan Fine Art graciously donated the picture frame for Nature Art Oil Painting #1 "Moth Pupa" to be sold for ARK (Area Rehabbers Klub)

Dan (shown with painting) and Lois were so kind to frame this painting. Many thanks go to them for their beautiful donation to ARK (Area Rehabbers Klub) our local wildlife rehabilitation organization here in Richmond, Virginia. The framed painting is available for purchase.

You may access Lodan Fine Art from their link in this blog. Please visit their beautiful gallery and their very talented featured artists.


Isn't this the cutest "Moth Pupa" you have ever seen? We're almost there!

The detail on the pupa is done. Now those boring little rocks need some life put into them. Also I searched for just the right moss to paint but came home empty handed.....until I looked what was growing against the foundation of the house! Perfect. Just what I was looking for.

Sometimes the grass isn't greener on the other could be in your own back yard! Follow that yellow brick road right back home.


Rocks, sand, soil ...thought I surely would finish this painting today. Life got in the way! Tomorrow is another day ......

So close yet so far away!

Wildlife Rehabbers will get 100% of the proceeds from the sale of my Nature Art Oil Painting No.1 "Moth Pupa"

When this painting is completed
it will be available
for sale.

Our local ARK wildlife rehabbers
work very hard
and I appreciate all the aid
they bring to the injured and orphaned
wildlife of the State of Virginia.
I have personally taken them
a Red-tailed Hawk with a broken wing,
an injured Cardinal, Robin, Eastern Box Turtle,
and a baby Cottontail Rabbit
in the past two years.

I admire their dedication and this is only one small way
that I can help them.

This has been a labor of love, hence the "heart" in the painting.

Entomologists needed! Oil Painting of "Moth Pupa" ...and the detail work on painting begins ...

The components of this painting were collected from walks through the woods except for the pupa.

Last fall I was relocating some potted Amarylis plants and it was under one of them.
I was unsure of how to safely place it outside from the elements and predators so I brought it inside, putting it in a margarine tub nestled in paper towels.
I suppose it will be leaving me soon as it moves a lot.

If any entomologist can identify it email me and I will send photographs ........the child needs a name!


Nature Art Oil Painting No.1 "Moth Pupa" nearing completion ....satisfied with the movement in the composition ...all that is left is detail work ...

This painting began

with no prior planning.

Unusual for me

as I generally require a

completed drawing first.

The concept was

in my mind from the start

so I relied on imagination

and creative flow alone to bring it to life.

Hickory Nut joining Moth Pupa ...also leaf and more to come! Adds a little love ...see the heart in the nut? Not finished yet ......

Ever walked through the woods
after a rain storm?

My first discovery that
pupas existed happened just
that way.

Heavy rains dislodge
and expose secrets of nature
we never knew were there.

It awakens the land turtles that
come out to drink and
then rummage through the debris
for treasures such as this pupa.

If you take that walk though out for falling dead limbs
heavy with water!
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