March 16, 2018

Martha O'Kennon

Don't hold your breath, folks, but today was into the 40's or maybe the 50's F. I seem to remember that 39F is about 4C, and is a lot warmer than we have had up to now. Little spring flowers are popping up through the leaf mulch. Here is a melee of aconites and snowdrops in the back yard, and some more of the early light purple crocuses - I love the bright red pollen drizzled about 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. Sometimes the second click will actually display a different view of the original image.

I haven't seen an ant in a while, and the springtails must be going down underground now, as I haven't spotted one in a few days. But here are a couple of springtails from a week or so back. No beetles, but a brown marmorated stink bug flew into my room and after a few hours of chilling out (not in the fridge but while I was otherwise employed) was ready to let me snap it a couple of times, even upside down as it fell into its jar. You can see teach of the zillion little beads of black. The print behind the bugs was on a page of the camera instruction book, which I've gotten a bit farther along in.

The pond is showing more and more unglazed surface. Here is a quick look at the larger fish in some very prettily dimpled water. This female midge seems to have a small red parasitic mite. The male is shocking in his fluffy antennae.

We have a fair number of loopers (inch-worms), each one a little different. The third one is being observed end-on.

The snow-drops in my neighbors' yard are always fuller than mine, probably because theirs are sitting in the sun more. They are followed by a special breed of crocus that has the habit of really spreading, unlike a lot of commercial ones that do NOTHING the next year. Last is a grouping of some very small early light purple crocus.

We did have a couple of kinds of spiders this two weeks. One seems to be a kind of running crab spider. However, all the ones I saw seemed to be pretending not to be a spider, having had several legs removed by someone. This one is a 3-legged female (her palps are longer and thinner than a male's would be. Third is a 5

Her (all three of these spiders are female) rounded abdomen makes me think this first spider is one of the cobweb spiders, Steatoda genus. #2, the more orange one, is likely another species or at least a spider of a different number of legs (I only see 7). But #3 seems to resemble #1 except for the abdominal shape.

That seems to be about it. Not so many species, but a clear improvement over a month ago. I am still working daily on the class I will be giving for AALL in May!

Love, Martha

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