August 15, 2021

Martha O'Kennon .

What a storm! It seemed to come out of the blue, and almost as soon as the thunder and lightning had sent me packing back indoors, the sky went quite dark, between grey and black. The power went off and after about 15 seconds the generator started up with such a roar. Afterwards, the street was littered with huge tree branches.

The Spiderwort is still blooming. I figure (I don't really) it only shows one or two blooms at a time so that I can continue to see a little flower every day for months. The Fall Phlox continues, and the Goldenrod, which up to now has been greenish-yellowrod, is JUST starting to bloom. In picture 3 you can see both colors for comparison.

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 an Eastern Black Carpenter Ant. Second is one of the Carpenters, but I don't know which! Third, of course, is a Smaller Carpenter Ant!

A tiny ant was walking around and I took a lot of photos of it - but all of them just looked like Small Honey Ants. I usually forget that the Small Honeys can take on lots of sizes. Second I is an Immigrant Pavement Ant. Third is an Aphid, one I think I hadn't seen earlier.

That storm washed a great number of Barklice and eggs from the North Wall, their natural home. First shows a little clutch of Ectopsocus eggs AFTER the storm. Second shows a Graphopsocus adult, high enough on the wall to be spared the washout. And third is a Graphopsocus nymph, also higher up the wall. So not all the work on the North Wall has been destroyed.

The East Wall is more or less protected from heavy rain. This Xanthocaecilius sommermanae adult was found there. Actually these pictures were taken before the storm. Second and third are of another white and yellow nymph, found near the first.

These Polypsocus corruptus were seen mostly on the less-touched South wall.

You remember that I've been watching since about March a clutch of eggs on the East wall four panels from the northern corner. First is the state of things on March 30. The cells seem to contain fat creatures waiting to hatch. Next was from May 23. Third was on August 13. You can see that on May 23, some of the cells seem to have collapsed or been exited already. On August 13, most of the cells appear to have died or hatched. One example of something that still seems alive is the long cell near the right of the configuration. It seems full of SOMETHING.

So let's move to the Beetles. First, some "Flea Beetles", probably named for their size. First off, a metallic Green Flea Beetle (my name, since I don't know its official name).

Here's another of those "flea" Beetles.

Oh, no, another of those "flea" Beetles!

This one is a member of Comb-clawed Darkling Beetles, says @borisb of iNat.

Here is that little Weevil, the last of which was found on the edge of Spooky's milk dish. Then a Black Vine Weevil, which I think should be called "Black with orange spots.


Those little green Zelus luridus Assassin Bugs are ALL over the place now. But this afternoon, I spotted a little Bug who seemed to be climbing up from the ground near the Shop Door. It is an Ambush Bug, probably a Pennsylvania Ambush Bug, since that's the only species of Ambush Bug that has ever been identified in this yard. How interesting that this Bug, which I only ever see is on blooming Goldenrod, and here the Goldenrod is only just starting to bloom.

First among these Leafhoppers is a member of genus Erythridula specializing in greenish hues. Another green-lover (picture 2) is the Potato Leafhopper - this was the first time I ever had one identified although they tend to be one of the more common Leafhoppers! The third one is a fairly large nymph, but it hasn't been identified yet.

Here is an adult Japanese Maple Leafhopper. Then comes the nymph of the Coppery Leafhopper, Jikradia olitoria, followed by its adult.

This yellow-striped Leafhopper must certainly be of genus Erythridula. It seems to be suffering - it is changing position so wildly. Picture 3 is from 4 days later, when it is found dead.

First is a "dot" version of genus Eratoneura. Second is the Alder Spittle Bug (female - see the red-brown stripes on the head). Next is a Two Mark Treehopper adult.

Here is another of those Dendrocoris Stink Bugs. It is probably D. humeralis. Note: these images are from one or more of several similar Bugs.

Time for Flies! Here's a nice little Fly, colored like a Sarcophagus Fly. In picture 2, we see what is probably a small Root-Maggot Fly. Third is a brilliantly colored Long-legged Fly, one that didn't jump when the flash went off, amazing!

Let's look at our Mosquito collection. This first one doesn't look Mosquito-y because it is looking down on a leaf, but you can see its proboscis. Next, this is probably an Eastern Treehole Mosquito because of the tall triangle on its back. Number 3 is a better shot.

First is probably Aedes, because of the white and black banding on the legs. I think it is an Asian Bush Mosquito. This next mysterious Mosquito is a male (look at the huge antennae) and so is not full of blood as so many of the females are.

Here are three Bathroom Moth Flies. The third was escaping as the flash went off.

Here are a couple of views of a tiny mystery Fly. The third is the Robber Fly Efferia aestuans.

First up here is either a very tiny Fly or a Wasp, but I can't tell the difference at this size! Since this is a sticky situation, I'll make it stickier by showing you a picture of a Scorpionfly, which is neither a Scorpion or a Fly! But you will like this: I got fabric and covered the Shop siding.

This lovely little Grasshopper appeared on the Wall for just long enough to pose for his portraits. I think he is a Short-winged Green Grasshopper.

I missed the Moths - they must have flown right past me. Actually a few little ones did and I totally missed them. But anyway, this is when I usually have some flowers to show you. Well, there weren't many but they were very fine ones indeed. Here is an Aster, making more and more little buds - it will be very special once they have bloomed. To cheer you up, here is an Aster scene from last year.

Here's that August Orange Day Lily! And the Fall Phlox. And the Spiderwort.

Here's the last (I think) of the Rose Campion. Picture 2 shows the Pond with developing (I hope) Water Lilies. This is a pretty good stand of junior Lily Pads. And the Goldenrod draws closer to satisfying its name.

Maybe it's time to survey the Spiders. The Cellar Spiders are the most prevalent ever! The so-called "prey" in number 2 looks more like a custard pie. And in picture 3 it's an Ant!

Lots of Common House Spiders!

First, a very beautiful black and white spider, Euryopis funebris. Second, Naphrys pulex, that lovely Jumping Spider, in its role as a cute little big-eyed kitten. Third, that long-limbed orange spider seems so like a ballet dancer.

This big black spider also seems to move like a dancer. The final little spider may be a Running Crab Spider, or maybe a young Garden Ghost Spider.

I'm double-dipping on this first one, Eumenes fraternus, since it showed up just before I closed the file on last week's pictures. But it is also a good sign that Wasp Season in the Goldenrod is soon to start! Second is all new! It seems to be an Ichneumonid Wasp. There have been a lot of those, such as number 3.

Here's another kind of Ichneumonid Wasp. I love the antennae with the white detail.

Here is an Eastern Yellowjacket. Second shows two Yellowjackets in Spooky's food dish. The last picture shows one of them, which I believe is a male Vespula germanica. I'm still working on the other.

The Pond (note: I capitalize it because it seems like a person of its own) is still quite green. Good thing I like the color! But I'm putting in lots of things that are supposed to restore its equilibrium - the fish seem well and some of the Lilies that I put in a month or two ago have got a few lily pads - not great whopping ones like the ones that Froggy used to sit on, but coming along and I hope that means the lilies will start eventually - I think I will make a trip to Jackson to the Pet Station and see if they have some already along that I can buy! Here are some Fish pictures.

Meanwhile, something spectacular happened in the Pond. I was happy to see that a couple of Flies were mating near the edge where I like to sit. I aimed and got some pictures that were very puzzling for a while until I finally figured out that it was a picture not of two creatures but four! All right now, let's try to parse the cast of characters. I know you can see the Fly and at its tail end there are TWO Water Striders mating happily while at least one seems to be feeding on the Fly. At the other end of the Fly there is a singleton Strider. This was the first time I managed to have a photo of Striders that allowed someone to identify them to genus Gerris. Life really does go on in here.

Most of Albion seems to have power again and the big branches are disappearing from the streets and sidewalks. So looking forward to being out a bit. I even enjoy going to the local grocery store, even masked. People seem glad to see each other. I'm looking forward to the day when people will do their bit to stop "the virus" from infecting even more people. Meanwhile, the news from the U.N. last Monday was brutal to hear. Anyone know where I go to get solar panels? It would be a step at least. Again, we're all in this one together. And I do mean

Love, Martha

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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2021