1602 285th Ave. NE
Isanti, MN 55040

Phone: 763-444-8206


Insects at the Pinestead


Several insects are too common to list individually; we have them just like you, but probably more so. They include house flies, mosquitos, sugar ants, and house spiders. We see far more insects then we can identify, much less get a photo of them.


Allegheny Mound Ant


Balsam Twig Aphid


Black Swallowtail Butterfly


We see only a few Black Swallowtail Butterflies each year. They don't seem to be as numerous as their Monarch Butterfly cousins. (INW 172)









Bumble Bee


Boxelder Bug


The Boxelder Bug is one you probably have as well. We have no idea where they all come from. It's like they come right through the glass. They are much worse in the fall, but we pick up several a day all winter as well. Save on water -- don't flush them down the toilet; instead put about an inch of water and a little dish soap in a tin can. Drop them in all day long and empty it each evening.


Deer Fly


Dusty Stink Bug


We have often seen the Dusty Stink Bug during late summer or fall, but never knew their name until we looked it up -- guess we have never crushed one or we might have been able to guess it. From our point of view they are relatively harmless, eating mostly plants but leaving the trees alone and there never seems to be a huge number of them. Notice that they almost look like they have an armored back. (INW 64)





Eastern Pine Shoot Borer

Grass Spider


The webs of the grass spider start small in late spring or early summer, however, by fall they can be several inches across. Even so you won't notice them until you have a dewy morning. Once the dew burns off they are almost impossible to see. The spider is somewhere in the funnel shaped hole. Because it's web is not sticky, like the webs of most spiders, if it senses a vibration from some small insect crossing its web, it has to quickly run out and catch it. We had always assumed it's nest was at the base of the hole, but apparently it lays its eggs somewhere nearby. ((SNW 124)



In dry years we often see large numbers of grasshoppers. A walk through the fields can kick up hundreds if not thousands. Grasshoppers can eat Christmas tree foliage if they are hungry enough, but prefer softer fare such as grasses and leaves. Our main problem with them is that in dry years they actually chew though our irrigation hose (which is quite thin--only 8-10mm) to get a drink! The individual leaks are too small and too numerous to repair, but collectively add up to a lot of water loss.







Honey Bees


Ladybug Beetle


Monarch Butterfly

We see lots of Monarch Butterflies, especially in the fall when they are migrating through on their way back to Mexico. Their migration story is truly amazing.











Pales Weevil


Pine Tortoise Scale


White Grubs


White Pine Weevil


White-lined Sphinx Moth

This photo of a White-lined Sphinx Moth, also known as a Hummingbird Moth, was taken by Greg early in the morning. Greg was shearing the Fraser Fir and this moth must have spent the night sleeping in the Fraser and was too stiff in the morning chill to fly off. Interestingly, this moth is often mistaken for a Hummingbird (which is where it gets its common name). It is almost as large as a Ruby-throated Hummingbird and hovers with its wings a blur of speed in much the same way.

However, you can tell them from a Hummingbird because the wings don't hum--they are silent, probably a form of protection. Even more interesting is that they have a long mouth--really long, almost as long as the body--called a proboscis, that is coiled under its head and uncoils to reach inside the flower. Natures' version of a straw, however, it's sipping nectar from a flower instead of soda from a can.

Widow Skimmer


This guy must have been taking a nap to allow us to get this close. Normally they are flying about and we just assume it's one more dragonfly. Please don't ask us to explain the difference between a skimmer and a dragonfly. (INW 20)










Wood Tick


Yellow Jacket