Thursday, August 11, 2011

Crane Fly

   At midnight last night, I saw this crane fly hanging out in my back yard.  You can see some strange things in the middle of the night, like a crane fly hanging between two grass blades as if it were a hangingfly.  What was it doing? Waiting for the sunrise?  Maybe grass blades have just the right "springyness" for a good night's rest...not too hard, not too soft.
   I would have liked to see the crane fly bend those two grass blades into that arched position.  Perhaps it was winging along and caught hold of the one blade with its left legs, then did an about-face with its right legs flailing and swept in the other grass blade.
Crane Fly Acting Like A Hangingfly
  Crane flies are true flies.  That means they have only one pair of wings and a pair of halteres.  Fly's halteres function as part of their flight stabilization system...their gyroscopes.  One is plainly visible on the right side of the crane fly in the photo below.  See the little lollipop-looking thing between the wing and the V of the bottom two legs?
   It's a bit unusual for me to be out at midnight observing nature, but I sure did see some strange things. This crane fly was only one of them.  Another was a midnight mushroom muncher.

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