October 20, 2019

Martha O'Kennon

This Saffron Crocus was the only flower blooming this week. It sent up leaves in the spring and a flower this fall. This seems to be the last bulb standing! It is truly fall, and the nights are starting to get a frost.

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.

There were a very few ants - here's an Eastern Black Carpenter Ant. Second is one of the Carpenters. Third is a Small Honey Ant. Compare its tiny head with its great butt, er, gaster!

Barklice are still here. First, my favorite "tiger". Second, Polypsocus corruptus which, as you will recall, evaded me last week. Third is Trichadenotecnum alexanderae.

First is the Scaly-Winged Echmepteryx hageni. Then the Striped one that we have been following, and its nymph.

Today I spotted this orange Barklouse which looks a lot like the one I'd labeled as Fateful Lachesilla on November 9 of last year. It must be a late-year creature.

No Bees. And almost no Beetles. There WAS this little Asian Lady Beetle larva. Unfortunately it seems to have been picked out for breakfast by this little Spider. There were several little Beetles on the shed wall but they were dead ones from earlier in the week. But the other day there was a rather large Bug on the wall. I had the feeling I'd seen it before but didn't recognize it. But it had a longish stick under its chin - it was its proboscis, just like the ones the Zelus Assassin Bugs. That's the thing they use to poke into other creatures and suck out the insides of the other creature. But this bug was quite stocky, unlike the Zelus bugs. It turns out that this is indeed another kind of Assassin Bug, Acholla multispinosa. Third looks a bit like a Plant Bug, but it is a Flower Bug, in particular an Insidious Flower Bug. It doesn't show up well here but it also seems in other pictures to have one of those nasty straws for eating, not Flowers but other little creatures. Last is a front view of what I think is a Stink Bug nymph, almost an adult but not quite there.

The Leafhoppers are still here! In fact, I think I'm seeing more of them than earlier in the month/year. I managed to find ID's for some of those red on white Eratoneura hoppers. Here are two fairly easily distinguished ones, since they have interesting patterns on them. First is E. era. Then E. ardens (literally, burning, probably because of the darker mark.) This picture was from last week's blog. Third is what BG calls Eratoneura "dot", because of the dot-like nature of the red markings. It also has dark eyes, but so do other species, like number 4. Number 5 is from May 2018. I'm including it here because it was very recently identified as Eratoneura carmini. Boy, are there a lot of Eratoneura!

Here (again - it's been around fairly frequently this fall) is the Three-banded Leafhopper. Second is a member of the former "Arboridia" genus, but now it's called Erythridula. Go figure! Third is our old friend, Erasmoneura vulnerata.

This one looks a bit like a Leafhopper, but it isn't! It's a Delphacid Planthopper of genus Stenocranus. Bugguide.net identified it as Stenocranus brunneus, just this morning. Isn't it a pretty thing?

The creatures whose larvae grow up in cases, or "bags", are back, climbing up the shop walls. The third one I started calling a "case creature", but I don't think that's it. I've no real idea what it is. If anyone does, please let me know! Last is a Tree Cricket of some kind, maybe a Narrow-winged one.

Now we're into Fly territory. First, a Crane Fly. Second is probably a dark-winged Fungus Gnat. Third is either a Midge or a Mosquito, and I'm leaning towards a Midge (the non-biting kind).

First here IS a nice non-biting Midge. Second IS a Mosquito, the one with the beautiful green eyes. And the fancy antennae. The antennae make me think it's a male, but the long strong proboscis makes me think female, since most males don't bite.

This little fly is on a grass seed puff. And the little Green Lacewing is on the shop siding. I have a very unclear picture from October 16, 2018, but October 11 of 2017 had one that appeared after last sighting in June of that year (picture 3).

Here are a few mystery Moths. The last dark brown one was indoors with about a half-dozen others.

Here's a mystery - several horn-shaped objects - are they real live critters mating? There's your risque puzzle for the day! Second, is this a genuine critter crawling up the edge of the wall? What a nice segue into the Spiders. Third: What is this Common House Spider carrying around?

Here's another Common House Spider, a dark-colored one. Next is a Cobweb Spider. We've been watching it grow for several months. Matt Claghorn says the third one is another Cobwebber. Fourth is a Pirate Spider, genus Mimetus, but since its head is at an unusual angle, I don't know which species it might be.

Matt says this next one is either genus Castianeira or Micaria. It feels to me as if we are sliding down into the winter species like Sheetweb and Dwarf Spiders. Those are so plentiful it's sometimes hard for me to wrap my mind around them! But here's a deserted Spider skin. Third is one of the Ichneumonid Wasps we have seen before. And Fourth is a tiny wasp, only a couple millimeters long. That's less than an eighth-inch.

Are you interested in the latest on the house? Well, the contractor who braced up the basement beams last Saturday recommended some top-notch people, two brothers: one a brick mason and the other a dry-wall specialist who also works for the College in Grounds. If you ever need this kind of work done, I will gladly give you their names and numbers. It took all week but on Friday just a little after quitting time they had sent off THREE truckloads of bricks from the basement. Actually on Wednesday they managed to dislodge with a BOOM the bricks behind my bedroom wall - through the hall wall. I didn't realize that the collapse had also opened up several new cracks in the old plaster ceiling in the living room. So this week they will be getting rid of the old ceiling and putting up a new safer dry-wall ceiling. This will mean more dust but so far I'm doing ok-ish (my sinuses are clogged and bloody) staying in the new guest room with the Murphy bed. Let's see what the rest of the week brings. Oh, by the way, on Friday afternoon a very nice new adjustor from State Farm came from Jackson and spent a LOT of time looking at the whole job and talking with the masons and me and getting an idea of what might be covered. He said he would be calling, and sure enough he did call. He had left his laptop here so he came back to get it and quietly said, "We're covering you". Apparently the trick that made it coverable was that all the damage-to-be was hidden until it happened. I'm not sure how that works, but I'm a happy camper for now. Cross your little fingers that this week goes well and nobody gets hurt. Here's hoping you all don't ever have this exact thing happen! Be safe,

Love, Martha

Here's a cheerup picture of the trumpetvine since nothing else is blooming right now!

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