November 22, 2015

Martha O'Kennon

Well, look at this. It's another week along in November and another blog has just landed on your doorstep. Do you dare look at it? It is finally quite cold on most days. Yesterday the wind was one of those "blow the old lady off the curb into the street" winds. I had to go home and get out last year's winter coat. Most of the bugs sitting sunning themselves (winding themselves?) are some of the ones you have seen before, but we did have a couple of brand new ones. Let's try something new this week. Instead of showing you all of a family or genus I'll show you everything arranged by date and maybe even time of day so that you can see how things change day by day. The earliest images will be coming from November 16, 2015. Here they are - the faithful few.

Remember that there is information in the name of the file for each image. You can see it by mousing over the image - look at the lower left of the screen. I would try clicking on the image. If the little "+" sign appears, it means you can enlarge again. While it is in "+" mode, click on something you want to see more clearly and it will zoom to that section. Then the info is displayed in the address line above. If the image has been cropped so that clicking on it doesn't result in a larger picture, you can always hit control-plus to increase the size of the image.

November 16, 2015 about noon

Around noon, I did a quick path around the shop. A number of creatures were still clinging to the wall. First spotted was this: either the pirate wolf spider or a six-spotted fishing spider. I've apparently lost my edge on these spider taxa. They both have an abdomen with 6 spots. I'm going to go with the pirate wolf spider just from the shape. Then this ichneumon of the Pimplinae group which we've seen several times this summer. Then believe it or not, a little jumping spider not quite identifiable from this one shot.

A little farther along, we see a tiny leafhopper that hasn't "quite" been identified. And that black mystery bug which is similarly un-identified.

November 16, 2015 a bit after 4:00 p.m.

Another circuit of the shop. A brown lacewing turns to watch us. Then some kind of mystery fly. And our old friend, the assassin bug nymph, this time the greyish-brownish one.

November 17, 2015 about 9:00 a.m.

Not too much activity yet this morning. There's a medium-sized reddish ant and a surprise cocoon with a mysterious sleeper.

November 17, 2015 about noon

Around again. A very pretty mystery fly, maybe a crane fly, maybe a gnat. Another assassin bug nymph, this time a green one. Look at its fat abdomen. It must have been finding plenty of juicy lunchies somewhere.

November 17, 2015 a little after 8:00 p.m.

A walk after dark. The first thing we see is this earwig. Almost all the way around the shop, lit with my little led lamp, a beautiful spider which turns out to be the nursery-web spider. It stands out well against the blue wall, but when it climbed down into the leaves, it seemed to match them almost perfectly. Look how its abdomen seems to be quilted of some soft material.

November 18, 2015

In the morning, the black bug; early afternooon, this lovely green caterpillar; and at night, the big golden spider again at the same place.

November 19, 2015

In the computer room, I found this dusty little asian ladybug beetle corpse. Outside, the little green caterpillar was still on the shop siding. But at lunchtime, I spotted this tiny (about an inch long with longer antennae) pale green katydid, which turns out to be the Drummer Katydid. (Another new species for me) It was very still and sat on, in a corner of the back deck down near the floor. Don't you admire its pink eyes against all that pastel green?

In the last picture, a dorsal view, look at the goofy sort of face that appears. (If you don't spot it immediately, just click to see the outline.) Another case of serendipity? You can even see the nostrils!

November 20, 2015

The caterpillar continues to sit on the blue wall. I wanted to find out if the katydid was a male or a female, so I caught it and put it into a jar in the fridge to cool it down so that that it would sit still for a bit, making it possible to get a good photo. When I took it out it was very still and did allow this last photo. Aha! A very long ovipositor! Now I can call her "she". Her abdomen seems a bit swollen - but my experience with pregnant katydids is nil. She may already have laid her eggs. I wonder where she did that, or, if she hasn't laid them yet, where will she pick to do so? Do katydids overwinter as eggs? nymphs? No time for eggs laid this recently to go to adult stage at this time of year! This last image is from the 19th, and she seems to have her ovipositor pointing frontward. Was she in the act of laying eggs? I don't know. Have to do some more reading up on these beauties... I've been asking one of the contributors at about this and got some good info just this morning. Here is some of the conversation. You see that this species also has a fake face on its upper back..

November 21, 2015

After the balmy days of the week before this one, today we are warned that about 5 inches of snow may be falling. Let me just open the curtain. Oh my! Here it is 9:00 a.m. and look at that. Even the telephone/TV lines are getting thick with snow. So what if I didn't have any brightly colored flora pictures this time! At 1/2000 seconds shutter speed you can even see the flakes coming down. The next two were taken at suppertime. I think we really got closer to 10 feet! The big white blobs are snow on top of my solar lights - good luck on them being on - not enough sun today to charge them. The lights are about 6 inches at base and it really does look as if the blob measures that plus at least 4 inches. If you don't hear from me soon, send help!

Here are the backward and forward links. Again, I'd love to hear from any of you - I only send this to people I really want to keep in touch with! Let's see what next week brings! Otherwise, happy winter to northern hemispherians, and happy summer (Oh, how amazingly much I love your summers) to my antipodean friends!

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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2015