Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Dobsonfly eggs

with 18 comments


After seeing little structures of this sort in 2017, I asked local little critter expert Val Bugh about them. She explained that “the white stuff is a secretion that a female dobsonfly uses to cover her egg masses. Makes them look like bird droppings. The leaf should be over water so the hatchling hellgrammites will drop in.” These two July 12th photographs came from a bank of Bull Creek, as did those from five years ago.




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By temperament and from decades of teaching math I value saying things that are true, and saying them accurately. When my father, who had accumulated a great store of knowledge and wisdom, sometimes exaggerated for rhetorical purposes, I used to think that an accurate statement would better make his point. For example, he was fond of saying “The majority is always wrong,” where I favor “The majority is often wrong” or “The majority isn’t always right.”

And speaking of a majority not being right, I’m most of the way through Alex Epstein’s latest book, Fossil Future. This book is in accord with three others about climate change that I’ve cited approvingly:

Epstein, Lomborg, Koonin, and Shellenberger are among a small group of investigators who stand against the majoritarian claim that we’re headed for a climate apocalypse. And yet all four of the writers I’ve mentioned marshal huge amounts of evidence to make their case. Follow up on any of the links above and you’ll learn about that evidence.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 5, 2022 at 4:27 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

18 Responses

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  1. Glad to see this! Bravo.


    August 5, 2022 at 10:17 AM

    • You’re welcome.
      I’m glad to see you’ve traveled so many places.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 5, 2022 at 12:23 PM

      • I went into weird panic mode to travel all over about six years ago. I thought it was because I didn’t want to be too old for more strenuous trips. I realise now it was I intuited this hell reality!


        August 7, 2022 at 4:37 AM

        • I read your post about Guatemala. I’m sorry but I can’t say surprised to hear that things are dangerous there now. I wasn’t like that when I visited 50+ years ago. I lived in neighboring Honduras and felt safe walking anywhere, day or night.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 7, 2022 at 7:10 AM

          • I was in Mexico last year for seven months and, despite what they say, I never felt safer. Guatemala has different problems I think. I loved it there but you could feel the tension.


            August 8, 2022 at 2:07 AM

            • I’ve hesitated to go back to Mexico and Central America, given all the crime reports, including yours about Guatemala. It’s good to hear you found Mexico to be a safe place.

              Steve Schwartzman

              August 8, 2022 at 7:04 AM

  2. I would totally have fallen for the “bird dropping” trick. I love when I learn something new!! What we see is not always what we think we are seeing! As for climate change and green energy, I considered years ago that what I was hearing just didn’t make sense. Early information regarding the power grid going “green” and mandates for more climate-friendly generation of electrical power under the Obama administration in such a short period of time, did not make sense at all. I think people are going to have to see the outcome before they understand this was never the right direction to go.


    August 5, 2022 at 3:43 PM

    • Some caterpillars look like bird droppings, too. It’s a good trick. Not a good trick is the precipitous clamping down on fossil fuels, leaving billions of needy people around the world in the lurch. What happened this year in Sri Lanka is one example. $5/gallon gasoline here two months ago is another. Our power grids are strained and need to be shored up and expanded, yet as far as I can tell that isn’t happening. In Austin we went without power for a couple of days in February of 2021 when the temperature dropped into single digits. I’m hoping the grid won’t fail us in this summer of daily highs at 100° or more (today is something like the 20th in a row). In spite of all that, the current ironically named Inflation “Reduction” Act includes a fortune in “green energy” boondoggles. It’s depressing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 5, 2022 at 5:17 PM

      • It is depressing. Unfortunately, the grid isn’t the only concern. I can’t understand why people can’t see what’s happening. Is it that Americans are too lazy to investigate and see what is happening, or is it effective infiltration and brainwashing for decades? I feel overwhelmed a lot of times.


        August 5, 2022 at 7:55 PM

        • I think your idea of effective infiltration over decades is a big part of it. The education departments in universities were bad when I had to deal with them a long time ago, but now they’ve become out-and-out indoctrination mills. I also feel overwhelmed a lot of the time. It may be time to start learning Chinese.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 5, 2022 at 8:22 PM

        • Speaking of “what we see is not always what we think we are seeing,” have you come across the Webb telescope’s marvelous image of ‘celestial chorizo’? Follow the science, indeed! Sometimes, people don’t see what’s happening because someone doesn’t want them to see reality. The French scientist says his post was a ‘joke,’ but if it was, it was a poor one.


          August 5, 2022 at 8:45 PM

          • I looked at that. Wow. Not funny. I would probably discount looking at any posts by him after that.


            August 5, 2022 at 8:51 PM

          • I’d vaguely heard something about the Webb telescope photo but didn’t know the details till I followed your link. Thanks. I don’t know that the French scientist’s prank claim was any worse than some others that have been put forth in earnest lately, for example that men can get pregnant and give birth.

            Steve Schwartzman

            August 5, 2022 at 8:55 PM

  3. Your first photo of the Dobsonfly’s egg mass brought to mind an architectural cartouche. The second photo’s interesting. It looks black and white, but not quite. I don’t know anything about infrared photography, but it came to mind when I looked at that image.


    August 5, 2022 at 8:51 PM

  4. Nice find. I’ve found a few dobsonflies and hellgrammites but never an egg mass.

    Steve Gingold

    August 6, 2022 at 2:59 AM

    • I hope you’ll find some soon. I don’t remember if I saw any between my first in 2017 and the recent ones.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 6, 2022 at 6:40 AM

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