March 25, 2018

Martha O'Kennon

Another week and a half or so, things are proceeding a bit. Here is the picture I showed you last week with the early light purple crocuses, and here is one from March 19 showing another shot of that same crocus clump on March 19. Here we see a hungry honey bee having a nice snack.

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.

Here is the very purple crocus my neighbor gave me a few years ago, the one that naturalized so quickly. Each day you can watch more and more of the component blooms opening. Betty's aconites are just getting up out front.

This next row shows some of the diversity in the garden. One by one, the little early crocuses are popping out in the front yard. This lovely fly may be in the Genus Winthemia. If you go to bugguide and hunt a bit, you'll find Winthemia'a blue just glowing in the spring sun. The fishes seem livelier now, even though their little pond is full of last autumn's fallen leaves. There should be plenty of algae when the toads come in April or May!

The little flies are back. Here are a couple of fungus gnats and a pair of midges. The male is the one with the fright-wig antennae, and the female with the straight antennae.

More flies! I believe the large one first in line is a Tachinid fly. They are known for lots of hairs all over. The little spotted-wing fly is one that I've been taking pictures of since 2015, and now it seems the new camera is better able to get one all the way down to the spots. The mystery picture says it all, or rather not at all.

Another species of fly, but I haven't seen an ID for it yet. Then we had a few ground crab spiders out there for a couple of days. They were all hanging by their outstretched arms so we didn't get much in the way of a face on any of them.

I must have been out too long or for too many days, for the very day that this new spider appeared, my battery went out. So I took a few pictures of this very small spider with my old camera and chose a few tricks like "sharpen" in the postprocessor, always trying to get rid of the nasty little edges. I try to recharge that battery every evening now.

On Thursday, March 22, there weren't too many creatures out there (it got so cold again!) but suddenly I saw something small and black near the bottom of the west wall of the woodshop. It must have spotted me with it eight eyes too, because it leapt to the dirt around the shop. I could hardly see that little guy, but the camera seemed to be able to see something and I actually got four shots of it. It was a new kind of spider as far as my memory serves, so here are the best of the three pictures.

The springtails are getting to be easier to see now. Now we can see the little cartoon face on the back of the head of the most common kind around here. Now where to put this picture? It shows a complex cluster of abstract images making a wonderfully complex shadow on the wall...

Last year's stoneflies arrived the last week in February, but we are just now getting a decent sampling of them the next to last week in March. I love the curlicue patterns on their lovely wings. Tripper is here snuggled up with Big Bunny. That rabbit is getting too human-like. I go around the kitchen laying out the dry food for the kitties and the timothy grass for the bunny. Then the cats get a small number of tartar treats and now Bunny is standing at the cage door, stamping her feet very loudly. I know it is time to get out the carrots and now Bun sees that a big orange treat is coming. Somehow I have to get the carrot past her onto her paper, so that she won't try to bite it out of my hand! Now all peace reigns for a while.

All in all, it has been a much nicer week than we had in February, for sure! Here are a few more images of the wildlife in the yard! First, the white hellebore is blooming. Their blooms are hard to photograph since they generally hang face-down. Next, a little group of the easy-spread purple crocuses. My snowdrops are in a race with the neighbors' amazing crop, but they're still with us. Last, a very early golden-yellow crocus coming up from under the leaves.

As of March 20, Spring is now here. Let's not waste a golden drop of it! This last shot is of a spray of conifer cones caught in a vine, as if to remind us of the cycle of nature. :-)

Love, Martha

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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2017