March 26, 2017

Martha O'Kennon

Well, look at that. March 22 was cold and March 24 was warm. The same pattern followed us into April. I didn't want to have an April Fool's edition, so I'm compiling what should have been March 26 and April 2 under the name March 26. The guest lists have changed a bit. Some of the little midge-sized flies have morphed into something else. By which I mean there are scads of things just about the right size for one of the tiny midges. Some of the millions of flies in the known bioverse came here yesterday and today as new guests. The crocuses are out in small numbers but many colors. Here are a few of them.

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. Or you can click on the image to get to the (usually) larger image. Then the info is displayed in the address line above.

It's been a while since I've seen a nice fat ant. This one is probably a carpenter. The middle sections are a bit reddish, and that's a good sign. This red ant is a dead ant. I don't know why it lasted for several days without being eaten. The green metallic beetle is back today, March 25. And a new orange beetle, just about the size of one of those tiny male midges(about 2 mm long), so far unknown to me. Last, a redbud bruchid. Do you remember this little weevil? Its larva eats the seeds from within the pods of the redbud.

And a new orange beetle, just about the size of one of those tiny male midges(about 2 mm long), so far unknown to me. Next, a redbud bruchid. Do you remember this little weevil? Its larva eats the seeds from within the pods of the redbud. Last, an Asian Lady Beetle writes in the mirror at David Swender's house as it admires its reflection.

This little monoceros beetle we saw last year in May. Here it is. They look a bit different to me. Can you see any differences? Finally, a rove beetle, which seems to be of the same species as last time we saw one (about a month ago).

March 25 is the day I first saw a grey assassin bug (we did see a greenish one a while back, but this is the day we saw TWO of the grey ones.) This Arboridia genus leafhopper is still the only kind of leafhoppers I've seen this year.

Here, moved up to the early alphabet where barklice might be found, is a Psyllid, actually a Triozid, Trioza albifrons (white-faced). There were a pair of these bugs on the 1st. Don't they look different when they're on their side as opposed to feet down back up?

Every year I promise myself that I will watch one of these cases hatch out. First you see it all tucked inside the case. Now you see it poking the first few segments out and see it has tiny little feet. The third image is of one that seemed to have got nipped in the bud before it got fully out of its case. I was really out there looking for stoneflies, which have usually shown up by now, in fact by February most years.

This caterpillar is a new one to me. It was out back about 8 pm on the shop siding. This next one is a geometrid, named so because it measures the


I have always had a hard time sorting out the fungus gnats and the gall midges. These are all fungus gnats, showing how different they look from pose to pose. The second one is the male, so much smaller than the female. Inside the crocus is a fungus gnat. I thought you'd enjoy this image of some kind of gnat and its reflection in the shop wall.

Here are a male and female gall midge. The male is much smaller than the female. They both have enormously long legs. The last image is of an ordinary midge (non-biting I think) and is a male (you see this from the fright-wig antenne).

So that you can see how very tiny these flies are, here is a crocus with a fungus gnat inside it. The second crocus is one of those very early yellow ones with black stripes. The nice little patch of purple crocuses are from a start I got from Deb Seely years ago, and they spread themselves around very nicely.

Here are some more unnamed flies (so far). The last two are of the same fly.

Another couple of flies. I don't know who the first one is. The second looks like a flesh-eater. I'm not even sure the last one is a fly either.

Here are some mystery "things" that seem more mysterious than some of the others. Here's a game: Please submit your ideas for the four things - what might they be? by email to me (NOT REPLY ALL) before next Sunday, April 9. I'll publish the funniest ones!

Once in a while, I go outdoors in the dark (The little light on my camera helps me to see my feet and things that are fairly close.) Lacewings seem to be in their element at night. So do pillbugs and ghost spiders and this caterpillar that I already showed you with the other caterpillar.

Here's a common black sawfly: a non-ant,non-bee, non-wasp, non-ichneumon member of the Hymenoptera. Then we move on to the tiny 1 or 2 mm spiders, and manymany of them! These tiny spiders look different from every angle, so it's hard to figure out which one was what one yesterday. I believe the third one here is a common house spider.

A lovely running spider and more babies! The runner was at least a 6 mm long compared to 1-2mm for the others!

More...I think the last one is a baby pirate spider.

This little 1-2 mm animal makes me think it is a new kind of springtail (Ceratophysella). I think the second one is like the one we had on March 6. Look at the reflection of the ground in its metallic covering!

This next batch were from the Nature Center the day of the STEM event, March 18. These are some of the denizens of the display ponds.

And a snakelet or two.

Let's end with some more crocuses and some other early plants.

Here's a purple hellebore. Too bad it keeps looking at the floor. HEre I'm holding up the white hellebore blossom.

We are about done for this past three or four weeks. I hope everyone is moving slowly into the next kind of weather. I'm ready to take some cool pictures on some plants. See you a lot sooner than this next time! Enjpy whatever the weather is. That's what we get.

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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2015