Physocephala tibialis or Thick-headed Fly

Identification is tentative but probably correct or very close. It’s a wasp-mimic, but the eyes are distinctly those of a fly. It was strikingly beautiful in the field. It’s not a great photo, but its one of only two I got before it flew away. The colloquial name, while amusing, is not a pejorative but instead originates from the fact that the heads of these flies are always wider than the thorax.

Physocephala tibialis, a.k.a. Thick-headed Fly, 2020-08-04

Hunchback Bee Fly

An interesting fly in both appearance and behavior. Something like the “Brown Cowbird” of insects, it will lay its eggs in the nest of wasps. The unsuspecting wasp stocks the nest with provisions for its own larva, but this fly’s larva gets fed instead.

Lepidophora lutea, a.k.a. the Hunchback Bee Fly, 2020-08-04

Juvenile Green Herons

My wife spotted four juvenile green herons at the end of the fishing dock on Bath Pond. Here is a picture of two of them. At first glance I thought they were American Bittern, but the body posture and the yellow around the eye confirm them as Green Heron.

Juvenile Green Heron, Bath Nature Preserve, 2020-07-29

The Many Colors of Dragonflies

These identifications should all be taken with a grain of salt, which is to say– the best that I could do.

Orange Meadowhawk, Bath Nature Preserve, 2020-06-30
Eastern Pondhawk, Bath Nature Preserve, 2020-07-25
Eastern Amber Wing, Bath Nature Preserve, 2020-7-25
Common Whitetail, 2019-06-01
Red-Tailed Pennant (tentative), Bath Nature Preserve, 2020-07-25

Blue Dasher

I’m not qualified to identify most dragonflies; there are too many species (over three-thousand) and many that look very much alike. However, I’m fairly confident that this is a Blue Dasher male, possibly a fresh hatching because the eyes don’t look fully developed.

Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Bath Nature Preserve, 2020-07-21

Great Spangled Fritallary

In general, butterflies have been few and far between this year. Many people have noticed, and there is speculation on causes from the unusually cold spring all the way to the nefarious “climate change.” So far I’ve only seen one of these in my yard. (And yes, that’s Poison Ivy that the Fritallary is resting on.)

Great Spangled Fritallary, Medina County, 2020-07-14


I can only barely see this comet with the naked eye, and I would never have been able to find it without the help of binoculars. An image of the comet I obtained, and also an image of the Moon and Venus from the morning before.

Comet NEOWISE, 2020-07-17.
The waning Moon, Venus, and Alpha Tauri, 2020-07-17.