November 29, 2020

Martha O'Kennon

No flowers. But three kinds of berries. First is the Euonymus, which is full of seeds or berries waiting for the winter birds to come have a snack. Then the Bittersweet, which lives in the north yard. Finally the snowberries, which are usually snow white, but are now snow pink.

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 Ants I've seen in the past week have all been Small Honey Ants. They are running slowly along the Workshop siding.

The Barklice are still mostly dominated by the Graphopsocus cruciatus. Numbers 2 and 3 are probably the result of a spider's skill in preserving another insect in an amazing design.

Here is a G. cruciatus nymph. They aren't so common now that it's cold. At least now that I have my good camera back I can see them. The second and third are most likely a Valenzuela nymph, but which species?

Here are a couple of shots of a V. flavidus adult from September 20. And third is an adult from November 28 - it seems to belong to genus Valenzuela, maybe V. pinicola. It doesn't look like V. flavidus. OH! I am so glad to have my Camera back!!!!

I haven't seen a Beetle this week, but Drymus unus, that Dirt-colored Seed Bug, is still among us. Then we see a Case-bearer of some sort. I haven't seen another of these for a few days now. Remember last week when they were so many and varied? But here is what seems to be a deserted case.

Since it got cooler and I'm not feeding the fishes, they tend to congregate at the bottom of the pond.

There aren't so many creatures out there right now, but let's look at the Flies for this week. First, a couple of Crane Flies. I think we've seen both of these this Fall. Third is probably a Fungus Gnat, but maybe not. A lot of Fungus Gnats have big prongy spikes on their legs. Fourth is another of those Flies I never call right!

I love the antennae on these Gall Midges. Second is a Non-biting Midge, and third is something exciting. It is so SMALL but for some reason, the light caught on its wings so it seems to be a little pink surprise for us.

Here is a Moth Fly, in other words, a Fly that looks like a Moth. The next picture shows this little fellow after a spider has caught it one day later. Oops.

Let's see a few pictures that show how the seasons come and go. First is a picture by Kathleen Seidl of a light mist of rain on her sage plant. Five days later, a leaf on the grass in my yard, with a fine crust of frost. And finally, the pond covered with loose ice with a big arrow formed out of straight lines going diagonally across the surface. How did that come to pass?

A few more pond pictures with that fine slush, showing the reflection of the big Norway Maple and a few fish on the surface. Note especially the one (picture 1) with a biggish red fish right inside the point of the arrow. In that picture you can also see the little floating heater that will turn on when the temperature goes below 32F or 0C - this keeps a hole open around the heater where animals can drink and which will let air exchange in and out of the pond.

Here is a Psyllid, a creature that looks sometimes like an Aphid, sometimes like a Barklouse. This one's wing shape looks most like those of a Psyllid. It has showed up here for several years about this time. I think it is in the family Triozidae. Third is the corpse of a Scorpionfly, found on the front porch yesterday.

There are still quite a few Harvestmen out there on the Wall.

After a few weeks of finding a Common House Spider several times a day, not this week! This little Cellar Spider (genus Pholcus) is the only one I saw all week.

Good thing I went out to see if there was anything new on the Wall. I saw our first Springtail! This is probably one of the Slender Springtails. The ID app in iNat suggested Tomceridae, whose members are Slenders. This is the time of year to start looking for these 6-legged non-insects!

A couple more pictures of fall among the perennials. The Epimedium just keeps getting better as the cold progresses. I wonder when it will give up for the year. That Rose Campion that I dug up is still all right. If it starts to fade, I may repot it or bring it in to develop. Here's one more of that Snowberry with the gorgeous pink berries.

This one is for a special friend, who always liked the flower pictures best.

Was it just last week that I asked, how much more complex can it get? This week, all week, my dear friend Susan was in Hospice and only just died on Saturday. She had been ill for a year and was in terrible pain, and yet she showed us all how it works. She kept doing the things we depended on her to do, right up to the end. She worked on the important things, like keeping our Albion Area Lifelong Learners going - Winter classes are all ready for February and most of the writing-up was done by Susan. She was a Lifelong Learner and if there is any chance of life going on, she is still one. All I know is, I will be processing this loss for a long time. Please bear with me.

Love, Martha

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