November 1, 2020

Happy Halloween!

Suurprisingly (to me at least), the Annual Fleabane has been having a minor renaissance. I don't think it will go on long, but I do love those purplish-tinged tiny petals. On the right is a Eunonymus branch from out back where the Maple Trees create a lot of shade for the bushes below. That means the Euonymus' leaves are more pink than red. But in the middle, you see the Euonymus in the front of the house, bursting with bright red leaves and many many bright red seeds, which the birds will enjoy almost all winter.

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.

The only Ant that I saw this week was a very small Small Honey Ant. This picture is from last week, but it's the same species. One thing that I have been seeing is this Grass head with seeds (picture 2), but last year the Grasses were also full of green Aphids that several iNat readers identified as Sitobion avenae (picture 3). That is probably the species of green Aphid that were so common on that grass a month or so ago this year.

The most common element of the past week was this little Common Bagworm. The Barklice were mostly represented by the Graphopsocus cruciatus, and I mean by a LOT of those pretty little things (picture 2). Picture 3 shows a new clutch of eggs on the South Wall. That gives us two clutches on that Wall.

The Barklice are surely leaving me to miss them. Here is one of the few Echmepteryx hageni that are left. When I think back a few weeks ago when there were whole colonies of other Barklice, like my beloved Ectopsocus meridionalis, which are totally invisible (they COULD be under the shop though) now. It's so hard to remember last year at this time, when Valenzuela flavidus, a very recognizable Barklouse, was common on the North Wall. So was its nymph, a lovely yellow fellow with red eyes like the adults' (picture 3). Maybe next fall they'll be back!

We didn't find very many Beetles this week, but there was this tiny red one. The closest I came up with this one was this second Beetle, which is from LAST year's collection. Our faithful friend Kathleen Seidl found this lovely Oil Beetle on her sage (picture 3). This beauty turns out to be somewhat related to a Black Blister Beetle (picture 4), which spent some time in the summer of 2017. Actually they are both descended from the family of Blister Beetles!

So let's look at our Bug collection for the week. First up, a Boxelder Bug. Next, a couple of Leafhoppers: that froglike Agallia quadripunctata and one of the very hard-to-identify to species in genus Balclutha.

We had a number of genus Eratoneura leafhoppers. Here's one and next is the better picture I got last year of Eratoneura ardens. Third is one of the Erythridula genus, what used to be called Arboridia. Fourth is Drymus unus, the Dirt-colored Seed Bug that loves our yard.

That's about it for the Bugs so far. So we look at the Flies we found, and that means we first look at the Crane Flies we've seen.

Here are two Mystery Mosquitoes. The first two images are of the same Mosquito.

Here are two shots of a Looper, followed by two Eastern Harvestmen.

We're already into the Spiders. As usual, we start with one of the Common House Spiders. But not as usual for this time of year, here is a baby Orchard Orbweaver, Leucauge venusta, identified by the bright pink arc. And third, a repeat of the Broad-faced Sac Spider we saw last week. This one was actually inside the kitchen, right where I sometimes lay a fork or plate to dry. It must have been thirsty, though with the amount of rain we've been having, I would have thought it would stay outside to have a drink.

Last week we saw a nice Spider of genus Mimetus (picture 1). I had commented that I would think it was M. puritanus if I could see the Bright White Grin that usually signifies that species. Well, a couple of days later, here came the Grin (pictures 2 and 3).

For the Cat Lovers, here is Spooky, and here is Tripper. Third is Spooky stalking a Grey Squirrel.

Keep Going! All right, it was another short Blog, but don't forget: This coming Tuesday is Election Day in the States. To lighten your feelings, I've scavenged a website with some of our mostly tiny life-forms, in scenes that show the little fellows in somewhat human situations. Don't quit until you get to the two at the end. HERE IT IS

Back from the picture show, and here we see the changing colors marching down the street; the Red Oak Tree that was only partly red last week is all red now; Finally, Jadesy has come in for the Winter, but I must confess that she has not yet begun sprouting flower buds. Sigh. Next year!

Well, here we are again on a weekend. The weekend before the most important day of this year, namely Election Day. I'd like to go back four years and share a parody poem by our Biddy Greene of Cape Town, S.A. Then we can discuss (or not) if she was right.

A Cheer-up Song

Love, Martha

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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2020