December 22, 2019

Martha O'Kennon

Still cold. I've still not been able to pull in the leaf net from the pond. The ice has formed all through it. Only the bit centered on the little floating heater is defrosted. I'm hoping that when we get a little thaw I can finally pull the net and dump the leaves. Meanwhile, a neighborhood cat was caught drinking from the hole made by the heater. I had to take this picture through an upstairs window - that's why it is a bit dark. What you can't see is that that day there was some melting and the cat is having trouble finding a foothold.

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.

Activity, even on the shop siding, is going down every day. Even ants and barklice are slowly disappearing. But there still IS the occasional Small Honey Ant. And most days I can find a Graphocephala cruciatus Barklouse out there.

One beetle, a Flea Beetle of the genus Longitarsus. One Bug, our winter friend Drymus unus. Third is a caterpillar almost buried in the earth next to the shop wall.

The flies were probably our most frequent flyers. Here is one of those Bathroom Midges (I think). Second and third show a Crane Fly that was out there yesterday.

Here is a non-biting Midge. At least it didn't bite me. And two more mystery flies.

This lovely little spotty fly was flitting from place to place yesterday, so we know it is still alive. You may be shocked but there have been a couple of large Harvestmen out there all along.

Before we aim at the Spiders, here is again that tiny snail, the Glossy Pillar. It doesn't look quite so glossy as before. The next two pictures show a Cellar Spider.

I think Matt Claghorn told me all my furry spiders lately were Wolf Spiders. They are pretty anyway. Third here was the one spider I saw yesterday - I would have called it a Dwarf Spider (Grammonota) except the markings weren't in gold.

The first two look like Grammonota (Dwarf Spider) but the wrinkles that run around the abdomen are new to me. The third one seems smoother. Remember, I feel so out of my element on all these Grammonotas, which can't really be ID'ed to species without heroic means. Wonder what the six-leaved snowflake next to the spider in picture 3 is? Me too.

This spider may be a Cobweb Spider, based on its round abdomen. Maybe. Last looks like a ventral view.

I only saw the baby Orchard Orbweaver once in these two weeks. Again, the way to see them (if they're there, that is) is if you spot something that just looks like a bright white dot on the siding. Strange way to look for a spider, but it is true (around here at least).

Since that's about it for the bugs and allies, I thought you'd like to see the new living room color scheme. For you who have visited, it has always been white paint over white ceiling and white paint over white wallpaper. They redid the ceiling with new dry-wall over the ancient plaster. Then they made that stippled pattern in the drywall "mud". I thought I would hate it but once it was painted light light greenish blue it began to look nice. They then did the walls in a slightly deeper shade of greenish blue, and then added crown molding in a still deeper shade. This first picture shows you the crown molding - the room looks too tall, but there are going to be weavings and paintings on those empty walls. Next, you can see my strange music stand ensemble made out of an old lampstand. It had a tall lamp and a reading lamp. Now you can practise standing up or sitting down - or share with a friend. You can also see the big dollhouse that I made from a kit years and years ago. Third is another view showing the lighting in one section.

Moving to the left, here is the piano and a bookcase. On the piano top at the feet of the South African plastic flamingo you can see the small scene of Susan Boyle singing for us. There actually is a lady who makes dolls of famous people out of clothes pins. Just barely visible, Susan has her microphone under her arm. Jumping across the room to the northeast corner, where the fireplace used to be, there is now a real corner where my old corner curio cabinet finally fits. I have souvenirs from most of my traveling days. No matter how much you zoom in, you will never see (unless someone requests it) the little chess set in the top section. I got this in Ecuador and the characters are not black and white but Conquistadores and Incans. My favorite bit is the pairing of horses and llamas.

In the southeast corner is the old bookcase and further west the tv and Tripper's warming place, otherwise known as the cable box for the tv. Inside the bookcase, one of the shelves is devoted to a doll-house scale little toy and book shop. It is a little messy right now since I haven't re-organized the items. The next row of pictures shows some details: the little aquarium, which lights up like the ceiling and wall lamps. Then details of some of the book cases. Most of the books are ones I own in "real" life. Who's kidding, this IS my real life!

Well, I managed to wait almost two and a half weeks to get out this blog, and if things go as they have been going, it may be that long again before we see another. (Though, hint hint, I did see a psyllid and a leafhopper during a quick thaw a couple of days ago. You will have to wait with unbated breath for that next blog!) Until then, much love and good wishes for a jolly holiday season.

Love, Martha

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