Nature Pictures 4
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25. Bittacomorpha clavipes (Fabricius)
Probably the best picture I've ever taken. This is un-cropped and unedited. These Phantom Crane Flies (family Ptychoteridae) are mating. The female is hanging from the blade of grass and the male is below her. They fly with their legs outstretched like this, too and look very peculiar. Each has a "leg span" of about 1.5 inches. Note the small paracitic wasp on the blade of grass on the left hand side. This photo was taken 9 July 2004 at University of Missouri's Wurdack Farm in Crawford County, Missouri.

26. Danaus plexippus (L.)
Yes, its a Monarch Butterfly. This is an action shot of the beast carefully checking each flower for nectar. In the fall these little guys blow down from as far north as Canada, through Missouri, and on to Mexico. This photo was taken in Capen Park, Columbia, Missouri on 30 August 2004.

27. Gaggle
I was shooting along Highway 160 in Barton County, Missouri on my way to collect some bugs in Prairie State Park (one of the most beautiful state parks in the state) when I came across this sight. A full 80 acres covered in snow geese! I love the lines in this photo. Taken 12 March 2003.
28. Taum Sauk Mountain
Taken just a few feet from the highest point in Missouri, this is a beautiful field of wildflowers. I should know their name, but it escapes me, sorry. About a mile and a quarter hike downhill from here is Mina Sauk Falls, the highest falls in Missouri. I collected bugs from them as part of my masters research. Photo taken 21 July 2004.
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