Reader Kurt Andreas contributed photos of both flora and fauna; his notes are indented:
Flower Longhorn (Strangalia cf. luteicornis); New Paltz, NY (June 30, 2013). The Strangalia longhorns larva (roundhead borers) feed on rotting wood, and the adults visit flowers in late spring and summer, consuming nectar and pollen.
Garden Star-of-Bethlehem/Nap-at-Noon (Ornithogalum umbellatum). Glendale, NY (April 12, 2016)
A toxic, drought-tolerant beauty native to Europe, Asia and Africa, and introduced into NA.
Podabrus flavicollis, New Paltz, NY (May 23, 2014). One of the soldier beetles (Cantharidae), a poorly studied group that consume soft-bodied insects like aphids as well as pollen, nectar and honeydew.
Tenodera sp. nymphs. New Paltz, NY (May 12, 2014). I took these photos just after they hatched from their ootheca., an egg mass with a foamy protein protective coating. Tenodera comprises Narrow-winged mantis and Chinese mantis, but I didn’t get a picture of the spot between their raptorial legs, which is yellow for the Chinese mantis and orange for the Narrow-winged.
And biologist/photographer Piotr Naskrecki, who’s also in Poland now, kindly allowed me to reproduce this photo he posted on Facebook. Try to identify it before you see his notes below.
I had waited all my life to meet this amazing, ancient creature, and finally saw it last week in Poland, near my parents’ house. The modern tadpole shrimp (Triops cancriformis) is virtually indistinguishable morphologically from its Carboniferous ancestors and it is possible that animals just like this one coexisted with, and were hunted by, the trilobites.