December 22 2015- January 16, 2016

Martha O'Kennon

Anyone who thinks we are not in the midst of global climate destabilization, take a look at these things. I was tempted to show the livestock according to the date they were seen, but instead think I'll go ahead with the usual groupings - might make just as much sense.

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.

First, to soothe your suspense, so far I haven't seen any wasps or bees. But many days I've seen ants or ant-like insects. If there is anything good about this situation, it is that the ants scurry much more slowly in these near-freezing days... This little red ant was out on December 22, 2015, and I believe is the same as the second one, who came out on January 9, 2016. They are Small Honey Ants (Prenolepis imparis).

This one was here yesterday, January 16. I don't know if it is a real ant. Look at its square thorax and huge rounded abdomen. Addendum December 4, 2020. It is a Gall Wasp!

There were a couple of barklouses on December 22, 2015. Addendum Dec 4 2020: The first is Graphopsocus cruciatus - I don't know the other.

There were also a few beetles/bugs. They were SO small I didn't get an id-able shot. The first one seems to be a longhorned beetle of some sort. The second is a bug that we have seen often, called Drymus unus (a dirt-colored Seed Bug), and the third is probably a rove beetle, but with white markings around it in two places.

Among the flies, we always have something showing up. The first two are of some kind of red-eyed fly.

Remember all the kinds of gnats we saw in the early spring last year? Here is a fungus gnat(some kind of), and then something completely different. A mosquito with green eyes! You can tell by the giant proboscis that it is a female, the ones that really stab! The third picture is a detail to try to get the green eyes big enough to see well. The last one is a male. I wonder why the mosquitoes often seem to be writhing. Maybe they bit each other?

In case you think I don't do anything but stand around in the chill looking for a friend, this is a picture of the new set of drawers I made this month to hide all the stuff all over my room. Each drawer is separate, in case I should need to get into the cedar chest they sit on. The music stands are made by attaching music holders to a defunct lampstand. The original had a tall lamp and also a reading lamp. Now I can practise standing or sitting!

Jim Whitehouse has been in Florida and sent a couple of nice photos. This snail and centipede (or maybe millipede) are his. This spider is from Biddy Greene in Cape Town, taken on New Year's Day.

Until the past few weeks, we saw a harvestman or two almost daily. Now they've dropped off quite a bit. These (December 23) may be the last ones for quite a while.

I'll bet you think (It's what I thought) that the spiders gave up their little ghosties long since. But guess what! Here's a copper spider with the Martian face on its abdomen which was out back on January 9; a grass spider with Yosemite Sam moustachios from December 23; and a pirate spider from January 9.

There was another of those little round-abdomen spiders, maybe a cobweb spider; a 6-mm (biggish) one that seems to have an orb-weaver's design on its abdomen - note the fat pedipalps; Another one that I might have mistaken for the second one except that its pedipalps are very lady-like slender ones.

There always seems to be a big surprise somewhere. We have seen quite our share of these young long-jawed spiders (Yes, the ones that I always want to call long-first-arms spiders). Here is one of the baby ones (from December 22). But the surprise happened yesterday, January 16. Convinced that there would be nothing more to see, I diligently walked around to the back (east) sides of the shop. And there was something about the size and color of a Zelus assassin bug nymph. Squinting a bit, I made out that it was some kind of spider. It turns out to be a different species of long-jawed spider, most probably Tetragnatha viridis. If this is right, It will be the first one in Bugguide's database for Michigan AND for January. Wouldn't that be something? Oh- please note the little black eyes, arranged in two lines of 4.

Well, it was about three weeks between blogs this time. So I am beginning to think that that is a good spacing for the winter months. But who knows, with this global climate destabilization, when the spring onslaught will really begin in earnest? Keep tuned, and remember you are not out of my mind. Take care, especially those of you who are struggling with slippery walks and streets. Walking just isn't fun when you are terrified of falling. But All- Have a wonderful time till the next installment comes.

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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2016