This post is to assure your spirits and assuage your fears that BugPhoto.net has not died and gone to blog heaven (or is it blog oblivion?) — rather, I have been more of a phantom, if you will. I was out of town, and my computer was out of service. But we’re both back, and dressed to the nines (I’m seeing penguin suit or mime, and frankly the p.s. is more flattering).
The bug in the slightly overexposed photo above is the phantom crane fly. I only have run across one of these at my favorite, neighborhood state park, and the photos are not perfect but a good illustration of a very intriguing bug. Crane flies are of course the bugs that I was always told in my younger entomophobe days were “male mosquitoes.” After shedding those anthropomorphic chauvinist biases, I learned while they both reside in the order Diptera, crane flies like this one are harmless, non-biting, non-stinging creatures who unlike their nefarious cousins want nothing to do with humans; they are often some of the most skittish bugs I encounter. (And if you are keeping score at home, male mosquitoes and female mosquitoes are basically the same size. Unlike people, male bugs are not usually and/or necessarily bigger — or smaller — than their female counterparts!)