February 28, 2021

Martha O'Kennon

On February 7, the last time I had almost enough pictures for a blog, I didn't mention the Polar Vertex. Well, it quickly descended upon us, and I've had almost NO pictures for a decent blog since. But this past week, things have begun to look up for us. Jim Seidl took the pictures of Kathleen's garden with no flowers and also this beloved Robin Chaim spotted another in this neighborhood too. TODAY I found the first Winter Aconite bud!

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.

I was about to say "still no ants", but a couple of days ago, an annoyed-looking Eastern Black Carpenter Ant finally appeared way down near the bottom of the shop siding.

The Graphopsocus cruciatus Barklouse eggs are still with us. There does seem to be something hatching from one of the eggs in the first picture here. Is it a G. cruciatus adult? Picture 2 (from October 6 2020) shows what a newly eclosed adult looks like - very fancy, no colors of note. About 4 hours later (picture 3) its wings have reshaped themselves and the black and clear pattern has almost finished asserting itself. So for this little creature, a firm MAYBE. On the other hand, one of the psyllids that have started showing up now looks a bit like the mystery creature.

Here, let me show you some of the Psyllids that have just in the past couple of days been preening on the Wall.

We've seen a few Beetles out there. This Varied Carpet Beetle was actually climbing my bedroom wall. The second tiny one was on the Wall. And this thing that seems to have been a Weevil was found out on the deck siding.

Our first Leafhopper appeared just in the past 3-ish days. I believe these three exemplars are indeed three distinct individuals of a genus, called Balclutha, in which it is extremely difficult to distinguish its species. Note: this week last year Balclutha also starred in the grand opening of the Leafhopper season.

Still we did get these pictures. Here is the pond on February 23, defrosted. Second is a composite showing three sets of cat tracks going across the pond and leading to the steps next to the shop door.

First, we see two sets of tracks in and out of the pond. Next is a composite showing three sets of cat tracks going across the pond and leading to the steps next to the shop door.

The fishes seem still to be congregating near the bottom of the deep end of the pond. Still I got a couple of flaky pictures. First is Bunky, our old Shubunkin, looking pretty good after so many years here. Second is one of the smaller Red Fish.

Crane Flies seem to be back. And (picture 3) that Hover Fly pupa is still with us.

Finally! In the past few days (since the small temperature adjustment), the Spiders have begun making their comeback and Flies seem to be back. The large Crab Spider (genus Bassaniana - see the heartshaped carapace (head)?) showed up on February 24 - it's so good to see them. Last is a Running Crab Spider.

Until last year, we always would see at least one Humpbacked Orbweaver, but for the second year, no such luck. However, we did see its relative, this genus Eustala Orbweaver, this past week. Here are two shots - I think it's the same character. Third is a little spider the size of a Gall Wasp - very tiny. This makes four different Spider species for this Blog issue.

The Gall Wasps are still here. Picture 3 is a different one from the first two.

Tomorrow is three weeks since I got my Covid Booster shot. So I'm beginning to make and keep in-person appointments for more categories of health care than I remembered I had. Chaim is still the rock - he does all the big food shopping. I'm so glad to have him here. Thanks to everyone who has made this year beautiful - I have been feeling your thoughts and hope you are catching my vibes (as we used to say)too!

Love to all, Martha

By the way, if you want to compare how things were Nature-wise last year, here is the blog from March 1st of last year. Blog March 1, 2020

Things ARE improving!

Back to February 7, 2021

Forward to March 7, 2021

(Notice that I didn't put in "if possible" - I saw so many new buglets today that I think there were will easily be enough interest for next week's blog! )

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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2020