Monsoon Maybe?

By: WatchinTheSky , 4:23 AM GMT on July 10, 2013

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Hummer cam current view -


The forecast for the next couple days includes a chance of rain from the monsoonal flow expanding over from Arizona. High temps should drop from 90s to 80s but humidity is on the rise so the net effect will be that it feels a bit warmer. Not like GG or Ylee are feeling, but a little sticky. Tonight's sky -


A few of the local natives in bloom -
chilopsis (desert willow) with white bloom)


more common purple/pink -


Gray globemallow -


black sage -


tecoma stans -


We have had a couple visitors lately -

I've seen hummers smaller than this guy! I like his orange antennae :) Sometimes they curl up tight. He's a Pepsis formosa - tarantula hawk wasp, I've never seen tarantulas around here - hmmm.. guess he is doing his job!

This guy was actually outside my window at work in San Marcos (about 12 miles west from home). I catch a certain resemblance to someone posting a cool batch of windows to the world :)


Dinnertime at the HummerCam -


A pretty good capture of chattering orioles from Hummercam -
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50. Ylee
7:10 PM GMT on July 30, 2013
It's 77 just before noon there, so maybe you'll just make it to 82 today!

Interesting choice of camera angle on the cam; you can see more birds perched in the twigs above, waiting their turn! I'll check back to see how it looks in the afternoon!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 103 Comments: 17504
49. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
7:05 PM GMT on July 30, 2013
WatchinTheSky has created a new entry.
48. calpoppy
9:14 PM GMT on July 29, 2013
Mr. P put away the oriole feeder while I was gone, to many bees, horrible!!! Got to find the better feeder! I got a Dr. JB feeder for the hummers and I love it!! Does not spill out in the wind. Now if they can make an oriole feeder as good.

Lots of maters on my return, caprese salad tonight;)
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 61 Comments: 4280
47. WatchinTheSky
3:51 AM GMT on July 28, 2013
Sometimes it's a squeak of Anna's when the males start doing their dives! I like chitterscold :) Can't believe another month and they will be gone.

Kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop with the weather here, the first one dropped a month or so ago when we flirted with 100 for several days. Lately, I feel like I'm in a tomorrow never comes zone (based on WU forecast anyway). For almost a week, 'today will be 86' and 'tomorrow should be 82'. Except it has been 86 for a week!! WU says pretty much 82 for the next week, so I guess it's 86 ;) Could be a lot worse!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
46. BriarCraft
2:11 AM GMT on July 28, 2013
I've been trying to think of collective names for your backyard menagerie. You know, like a murder of crows...?

How about an Hum of Annas? And maybe a Chitterscold of Orioles?

Your weather looks like it's stuck in the partly cloudy, not-too-hot, 0% chance of rain mode for the foreseeable future. Not bad for almost-August in Escondido.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 92 Comments: 4646
45. WatchinTheSky
1:32 AM GMT on July 27, 2013
Dark Shadows hummers!! They vant to drink your nectar :-P

I'll play around a bit, see how phase one looks tomorrow.

Having regular visits by sp's favorite pepsis formosa, in fact yesterday there were 2. One large, one small. Probably male and female, females are almost twice as large. May lead to a better photo.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
44. Ylee
11:32 PM GMT on July 26, 2013
You might run the risk of turning everything around the feeders into shadows(Ooohhh, shadow hummers, lol) if you concentrate on the sky! All you can do is try, I guess! :' )
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 103 Comments: 17504
43. WatchinTheSky
11:28 PM GMT on July 26, 2013
Hi Ylee, BC! We actually had some thunder this morning and areas not too far north (20-30 miles) had a bit of rain! I think that was generally unexpected. A subtropical feel to the day, fairly overcast all day. I keep meaning to adjust the angle or setting for the hummer cam to get a little more sky detail. The sky is usually washed out even when clear. Maybe tonight after work!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
42. Ylee
8:01 PM GMT on July 26, 2013
It looks like it's partly cloudy there, amongst the five hummers having lunch! At least I didn't say you were having "some sun", lol!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 103 Comments: 17504
41. BriarCraft
7:36 PM GMT on July 25, 2013
I hear something similar from the weatherfolk here October thru May: light rain, drizzle, mist, rain heavy at times, showers -- as many different names for rain as they can think of and then occasionally (grinning ear to ear) showers with sun breaks.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 92 Comments: 4646
40. WatchinTheSky
7:01 PM GMT on July 25, 2013
Hi BC! I think our local weather folks need something to get excited about - here are descriptions of forecast for next 5 days from San Diego paper..
Low clouds, then sun.. Low clouds, then some sun.. Low clouds break for some sun.. Low clouds, then some sun.. Low clouds followed by sun.. ZZzzz.. Can we say 'Boring'!! But it cracks me up that the guy can't say the exact same thing twice, has to change something :-P

I like the 3 layer cloud cake, too. The first thing catching my eye was the wispy layer, 'course, the ground fog is always cool. But I noticed later that the low morning sun from the left was just lighting up the boulders on the floating island!

Hope you and Gracie are having fun in the Yarden!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
39. BriarCraft
11:24 PM GMT on July 24, 2013
"Yesterday all the local tv weather folks were shouting "thunderstorms and humidity" this weekend. Now that seems to have faded away, at least the rain part. Rats."

I hate to say it, but .04 inch of humidity does not rainfall make. So you hopped in the car and headed for the mountains to see some wet stuff falling from the sky?

I remember how excited San Diego weatherfolk get whenever there's even the slightest chance of having any. Weather, that is.

Kinda like when Seattle weatherfolk forecast a chance of sunshine breaking through the clouds any time from October through May.

BTW, I really like that floating island or 3-layer cloud cake. Cool!
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 92 Comments: 4646
38. WatchinTheSky
4:51 PM GMT on July 24, 2013
Hi PSP! Wow, 89! Toasty :) It helps when the sun is out first thing. cp may not get much of a cool down! Hmmm.. Moss on the driveway - not having that issue here. Algae on the fountain/birdbath, oh sure yes ;)
Have fun 'spackling' the driveway ;-P Our back patio is stamped concrete and a couple years ago I put several coats of water based sealer on it. It looked real nice for a while, now it looks like it is peeling from a bad sunburn. I am pondering how to remove the remaining sealer and how to reseal and not have the same problem in a couple years.
Looks like rain is gone for a while now, glad we went up to be in it!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
37. PugetSoundPost
2:21 PM GMT on July 24, 2013
Congrats on your rainfall! With photos to prove it! It took a lot of work, but it paid off with some actual precip on the ground!

I've spent a good amount of time over the past couple of days power washing (well, as much "power" as you can get from a "jet" nozzle on a garden hose!) our driveway. Trying to get rid of the moss. You don't realize it is as mossy as it is till you wash it. Now we have a lot of cracks showing (the moss was a good camo for the cracks) in the aggregate concrete that need filled. Probably get out today in the blazing sunshine and do that, with a rounded-up kid or two from the house. CP should have a wonderful day today in the city. Always the best when the sun shines from the first moment of daylight, just like today. Yesterday reached 89 for us!
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 184 Comments: 984
36. WatchinTheSky
4:09 PM GMT on July 23, 2013
Hi cp! After looking it up, it does look like that! I got off to a slow start cuz I was searching native trees, cedrus deodara or Himalayan cedar - not very local ;)

Mornin Ylee, cedar is used to de-odor all the time, but that was a pretty big tree to squeeze into the Shack :'-P

We have slipped into early morning coastal marine layer, but clouds burn off pretty quick!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
35. Ylee
2:12 PM GMT on July 23, 2013
Does a Deodor cedar ah, deodor? If so, I need one here in the Shack! :' )

Looks cloudy there!
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34. calpoppy
7:26 PM GMT on July 22, 2013
Looks like a Deodor Cedar :-)
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 61 Comments: 4280
33. WatchinTheSky
7:23 PM GMT on July 22, 2013
Hi sp! I was watching the radar yesterday and thought, maybe, some rain made it up to you. Maybe pothole filling is not the future in rain prediction ;) I saw no road work in Julian. Good luck with the tooth repair!!

Hi cp, safe flight! Viva Italia is done with BER but has not been a good producer. All of the tomatoes seems to be a little confused. It was hot, now cool (though heating back up I think). Maybe they need some food.

Hi GG!

See, I was not hallucinating!




And, some fresh cones on a yet to be id'd conifer.


Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
32. sp34n119w
6:58 PM GMT on July 22, 2013
I see you've been doing a happy dance all over the blogs - braggart! LOL
Your trip to Julian sounds very pleasant! So glad you got some rain and it looks like you could get some more :)
Nice that the fire received a bunch - the calfire update said 1.5" at the tramway so that helped. It made/makes firefighting more dangerous but I'm sure they are pleased, and all evac orders have been lifted so that's good.

No rain for me but there was a downpour in Santa Barbara this morning and rain all around me, off and on - even quite close by - so we may still have a chance. Sure is humid enough if the sun can get through to heat it up.
Got spit on in LA on Saturday (so had to carry an umbrella for others, just in case, but could have counted the drops on the windshield) and the fog yesterday afternoon/evening was so thick and low that there was a light mist. Not exactly what I was hoping for! Perhaps the pothole hypothesis has been debunked ;)

Tooth is excruciating at times but I'm trying not to whine - good thing my blog is closed, lol - and I see the special dental professional today. Wish me luck!
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4324
31. calpoppy
1:27 PM GMT on July 22, 2013
Glad you got something!! Today will be better for me, I think we will get some pop ups!!

How is your Viva Italia doing? Is it over it's end rot yet? I made a fire roasted tomato pasta dish with mine the other day, lots of garlic and red pepper!

Not a whole lot of new tomatoes for me, to hot, but I still have lots of green tomatoes that haven't ripened yet.

Squirrels have been horrible!! Ate most of my new winter squash sets. Finally got them with my handy rat zapper. Another in the green house eating my figs, got him yesterday. TNT can only do so much, LOL! Tough year for the critters, I feel bad for them, but they can't have my garden!!! LOL!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 61 Comments: 4280
30. GardenGrrl
10:04 AM GMT on July 22, 2013
Well, tried to get some of the Texas rain to you but it got hung up in Arizona.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 275 Comments: 10454
29. WatchinTheSky
2:47 AM GMT on July 22, 2013
Hi, PSP! We DID get some rain today!! First rain since ... Well, I don't remember ;) but a long time ago. I just checked the gauge - .04" , not much to shout about but seemed like a good amount. (Just remembered, I need to reset the gauge, our rain year is July to June).
We decided to take a drive up to our local mountains since there was a 50-50 chance for rain. We got 'trapped' on the patio of Orchard Hill Inn in Julian for an hour watching lightning, rain, and listening to thunder!! Lasted for about 2 glasses of Chardonnay, oh darn ;) About .7" of rain, nice.
There is a pretty good fire about 80 miles north of here that has gotten a bit of national coverage, because it is close to Palms Springs. But the same rain we got has really helped there. There was no chance it could run to our immediate location.
Hard to believe you only have .02" so far this month!

sp, any rain for you??
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
28. PugetSoundPost
1:12 AM GMT on July 22, 2013
Looks like some rain in the air for you today? Sure would be nice for you. The marine layer has been persisting in recent mornings, and today as well for us, but the sun came out and a lovely summer afternoon. Only .02" rain so far all month for us. A dry month, but that is nice. Are there fires in your area?
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 184 Comments: 984
27. WatchinTheSky
4:39 PM GMT on July 21, 2013
Off to Julian in search of Monsooooon!
At least a little hiking and a nice lunch ;)
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
26. WatchinTheSky
8:33 PM GMT on July 19, 2013
Oh no, sp - toothache, yikes. Hope it is nothing serious. I wondered why you seemed to be up late!
That's weird that you would get the smoke from Idyllwild, and seemed weird that we had a (not quite so) scary orange moon last night, but the upper winds are swirling a bit, I think, with the low now spinning over Gulf of Mex. That may make predicting the fire's direction a bit of a chore. It's 2 ranges away so we are safe, but it sounds a bit dicey for Idyllwild now.
It has really cooled down today, lots of upper level clouds - here monsoon, here monsooon ;)
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
25. sp34n119w
7:44 PM GMT on July 19, 2013
Well, now I'm questioning if I even saw the Yeti, as well as the way I wrote the joke ... under the influence of codeine for a toothache at the time, LOL

I was concerned about you and the smoke but saw it here yesterday and had that lovely/scary orange sunshine this morning. LOX captured a sat pic. It's putting up a lot of smoke for its size, it seems. Must be old fuel up there.

They're showing a 40% chance of rain for Monday, now, but it changes frequently. Keep wishcasting ;)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4324
24. WatchinTheSky
3:33 PM GMT on July 19, 2013
LOL, sp! Maybe Yeti made a snack out of the wasp, haven't seen the wasp for a while now ;)
cp thinks RAIN is on the way, WU is only giving a slight chance for Sat Sun in our neck of the chaparral. Hope she's right! Hope you're having a nice summer - see Wu!
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23. sp34n119w
7:40 AM GMT on July 19, 2013
YETI!!!!!!

He ain't skeered of no wasp, LOL
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4324
22. WatchinTheSky
4:58 AM GMT on July 19, 2013
Hi Ylee! Not sure about Nessie, but the Animal Park is under that fog so there are zebras and giraffes :-P Sounds like you checked the cam at a good time!! Hope GlichOmatic shapes up. I've seen a lot of Monty, but hadn't seen that one! Couldn't let my avi watch, might freak him out =:-D

Hi cp, hope your guy is on track. Making me nervous that it was going to be Fri Sat, then Sat Sun, now Mon Tues. come on monsoooon!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
21. Ylee
10:41 PM GMT on July 18, 2013
That one upside-down oriole on the feeder reminds me of Monty Python's dead parrot sketch.....:' )
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20. calpoppy
9:49 PM GMT on July 18, 2013
A professional weather guy I know said it is setting up well for Monsoooons on Mon. Tuesday :-) :-)
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19. Ylee
4:09 PM GMT on July 18, 2013
That pic looks like Scotland; all you need is Nessie, and you'll be all set! :' )(Why do we keep pawning off mythological monsters to your area? :' ))

8 hummers and two orioles this morning!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 103 Comments: 17504
18. WatchinTheSky
3:58 PM GMT on July 18, 2013
On again, off again thunderstorms for this weekend are 50% on for Sunday. GG says rain from Texas will be here by Sunday, I'm going with it!!
Last 2 mornings have been nice, mid upper 50s for low temp. Still tickling 90 for highs. Tried to get a pic of nice fog/clouds this AM, ISO was a bit high, methinks :(
3 layer cloudcake

Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
17. WatchinTheSky
3:45 AM GMT on July 18, 2013
Hi sp! Hmmm.. I haven't seen any pothole filling around here, so now I am not feeling optimistic :( I think you are probably seeing fledgling orioles or adult females. Since only adult males are bright yellow/orange, there's maybe a 1 in 4 chance to see one, the others are very pale yellow with lots of grey.

Hi GG, that's funny about Roxy! There's no telling what pups find so interesting sometimes! 'bwa ha ha', now that sounds like someone hoarding all the rain!!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
16. GardenGrrl
1:03 AM GMT on July 18, 2013
The chattering oriole video called Roxie out of a nap to try and jump in my lap to get close to the screen. Fun video :) Guess what I'm going to play to wind Roxie up now.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 275 Comments: 10454
15. sp34n119w
12:54 AM GMT on July 18, 2013
A couple days ago I was thinking that the forecasters were being way too optimistic about thunderstorms up here. Then, yesterday, the city came by and filled (again) the massive potholes on a street near my house ... and that just about guarantees a downpour. Way better than washing the car, since that can get ruined by just a few sprinkles. It takes a deluge to bring up a pothole patch. I'm looking forward to it :) and you shouldn't give up hope, yet!

That video is great - you can really hear the chattering! I think I've seen a couple orioles at your feeder over the last few days but they were in shadow and did not look yellow. Still, what else could they have been? I enjoy checking in here and seeing the hummers, frozen in time.

No more wasp nightmares!
It's been a nice summer, so far, but pretty mellow. I keep reminding myself of the two summers in a row that were cold and grey and that helps me appreciate the heat and sunshine.
Hope you are enjoying the summer, too! And that the smoke doesn't get any worse, or come your way - that area is really rugged and they'll have trouble with it, I'm sure.
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4324
14. WatchinTheSky
9:42 PM GMT on July 17, 2013
Hi Ylee - That's all I usually see around midday as well. 6:30-7:30 AM, PM is often SRO (maybe hovering room only ;)

Yesterday all the local tv weather folks were shouting "thunderstorms and humidity" this weekend. Now that seems to have faded away, at least the rain part. Rats.
Looking north out window at work, smoke plume rising from Idyllwild fire.

Is the big heat bubble heading your way? I popped in on masshysteria's blog yesterday, that looks hot, mid 90s and humid! I just don't think of northeast that way.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
13. Ylee
6:36 PM GMT on July 17, 2013
One solitary hummer at the feeder, at least at this moment! I had a nyjer sock for a couple of months, but it was being ignored, so I took the rest of the seed, and mixed it with the rest of the regular birdfood. Now, I have goldfinches. Go figure!:' )
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12. WatchinTheSky
5:04 PM GMT on July 16, 2013
Hey Ylee! You know, I haven't heard of a Yeti sighting since that wasp showed up, hmmm.. (wonder how sp is doing, speaking of wasps ;)

Hi cp! I am still working on catching the orioles chirping and beeping!! They are still saying maybe monsooon rain for the weekend :)
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
11. calpoppy
4:06 PM GMT on July 16, 2013
We have lots of fledglings again! All Bullock's Orioles. Lots and lots of chattering.

I like your new videos!

I had to take the nyger seed feeder down, we were filling it up everyday. And most of the birds weren't goldfinches. I will put it back in late summer.
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10. Ylee
7:59 AM GMT on July 16, 2013
No yetis to report; looks all clear! :' )
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 103 Comments: 17504
9. WatchinTheSky
5:23 AM GMT on July 13, 2013
Hi sp! Hope you are having a nice summer (nightmares excluded!) =-¥-=
No monsooooon here.
Hi GG! The desert willow is our summer favorite, I've got a little one started from seed that calpoppy says should have extra nice blooms. Probably a year or two away from that :)
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8. GardenGrrl
10:32 PM GMT on July 12, 2013
Ah monsoooooon.n.n.no rain here.
Beautiful flower shots. Desert willows are gorgeous all in bloom.

Poor ylee looks like he needs a drink of water.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 275 Comments: 10454
7. sp34n119w
7:21 PM GMT on July 12, 2013
Oh, the flowers are gorgeous! I have one of your desert willow pics on my screensaver slideshow and may have to add the mallow :)

That critter (the wasp) is really very attractive, as such things go. Before I knew what it was, and soon after moving to SP, I found one IN MY HOUSE and immediately dispatched it. Well, I took it outside and it was gone in the morning so, hopefully, it survived the ill treatment to which it was subjected and got away. Two nights ago, after seeing your photo, I had a nightmare that there were three of them flying around my house and I was running around trying to shoo them out while they dive-bombed me, LOL
Thanks for that! >_<

So, did you ever see the monsoooooon (I like saying it - or typing it - too!)?
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6. WatchinTheSky
7:15 PM GMT on July 12, 2013
We got monsoooned on Thursday AND Friday morning, almost the same time each day (about 7:00) - if you count 4 or 5 drops total per square inch!! Not enough to make the dirt look wet, but I could see spots on the concrete - oh boy ;-P

Hope you got more, cp - we got skunked, not even any thunder. Has budgie been back?

Hi PSP! Looks like no rain and real nice temps in your area! No rain here, but it is early for the monsoon. Maybe it is a good sign that it is getting started :)

Have a nice weekend all!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
5. PugetSoundPost
4:14 AM GMT on July 11, 2013
I think I will stick to enjoying your pretty flowers! They look nice and love the colors. I see you still have a chance of some rain. Hope it happens!

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4. calpoppy
2:46 AM GMT on July 11, 2013
I like to say monsooooon tooooo! We got rain early this morning and a little more this afternoon! I think tomorrow is looking good for us up here, good precip values, just gotta make these useless clouds go away!!

I like all your pics, especially fond of the yote! Oh, love the mallows, they are so pretty.

Thanks for the ID of the wasp! We have them all the time, and in mass by the creek. Cant' remember the name of the shrub that is by the creek that blooms in mid-summer but those wasps just love it and cover it when it blooms.

Lots of Hummers on your cam!

The juvenile orioles did not stick around this year, first time!! Between the bees and the learning curve on the feeder they just left. In fact the Hooded Orioles left also. Now all we have is Bullocks and Scotts.
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3. Ylee
11:24 PM GMT on July 10, 2013
Monsooooooon! I don't know why, I just like saying it! :' ) Looks like it's cloudy behind the cam, but I'm not sure!

I must say, that is a handsome fellow in the last photo! :' )
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2. WatchinTheSky
10:40 PM GMT on July 10, 2013
Hi BC! That's a pretty big wasp, for sure. And a stinger that will put a tarantula in a coma - wouldn't want to mess with that. But they are surprisingly not aggressive or shy. That was a macro shot and it took off and returned several times as I maneuvered for a good shot with the lens a couple inches away. I wanted to get a good shot of the curly antennae in a tight spiral, alas. Here is a photo from a few years ago, different angle on the curls!


The local tv weather folks are touting up the possibility of rain, doesn't look like it to me :(
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 2479
1. BriarCraft
8:17 AM GMT on July 10, 2013
Pepsis formosa?!!! I'd really, really hate to get up close and personal with any bug that size. Eeeeek!

Okay, so I had to look it up, cuz I sure never saw anything like that in 17 years in San Diego county. Turns out it is the New Mexico state insect. And it's also known as a Tarantula Hawk Wasp.

Wasp?!!!

As in stinger?

Up to 2 inches long.

Double eeeek!

Nectar eater, but really gross reproductive behavior. If anyone wants to know more:
http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/New_Mexico/Tarantu la_hawk_wasp.html

Criminetly!
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