January 16, 2022

Martha O'Kennon

Two weeks ago we were able to find at least a few entries worth recording, but the past two weeks have been even more disappointing. This morning (January 15 at 8 am) the thermometer was reading 14F. Virtually nothing new has appeared but I'll try to find a few examples.

One thing that was buried under the snow last week were the Snowdrops that usually have at least broken ground in the Seelys' yard next door. But a couple of days ago, I found a few poking out of the ground by an inch or two. Very near the Snowdrops was a tiny patch of Wood Sorrel trying to shake the snow out of its ears. Back into my yard, I found a good-sized patch of Grape Hyacinth, one of the ones that develops earlier.

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 are a few of the succulents in the front side porch. First is our beloved Jadesy, all over her freezy nightmare. Next is a little dish of Christmas Cactus. You can see its lovely pink flower buds in a couple of places. Third is a succulent that I've never known the name for, but a very hardy thing indeed.

Did you see any Ants in the past fortnight? No? Me neither. Sigh. Let's review, then, the shots we have so far of the mysterious possible Barklouse nest that we first saw on October 24, 2021. Picture 2 was taken on November 23. On the lower left of the November 23rd picture there is an interesting "Shmoo-like" creature which may or may not be related. If you don't know what a Shmoo is, get Grandpa or Grandma to haul out that atticful of "Li'l Abner" Sunday funnies. The Shmoos are the source of all things edible in this world. Picture 3 shows the state of things on December 28, 2021.

Here we see a picture from December 28 both "regular-sized" and expanded so that you can see, where the nest has broken apart, lots of little round or elliptical "creatures" . I'm beginning to wonder whether this is a Barklouse nest or some other kind. We will see one of these days. The horizontally-arranged thing at lower left looks like a larger bug of some kind, doesn't it?

Our other project, that of following a set of 8 dark-brown-purplish eggs to see when they hatch out a set of nymphs to check against some old pictures of Metylophorus novaescotiae, goes along quietly. Here they were on December 31, 2021, and here they are on January 14, 2022. No signs of hatching yet!

The North end of the Wall is too icy to try to photograph things from, even if I could slide the deck chair long. So most of these little guys will be from the South and East sides. First we have an adult Graphopsocus cruciatus. It is followed by two egg masses that certainly look like Graphopsocus too.

Out front the Hellebore from this past year is still alive down under the snow. Very near it is the Christmas Fern still with its growth again from this past year. Last here is the Coralberry. This is just one little section of it. I love how it seems to glow in the snow.

But we had a few Spiders, or maybe one in a number of poses. Here are a couple of shots of one in the genus Eustala. Same genus as this green humpbacked orbweaver - it was seen in 2016 on February 21st. Not this year - Yet.

This next set may actually be Eustala too. They are just taking on more interesting poses!


Fortunately this week the Gall Wasps were still here. And that is about the end of the Critters part of this blog.

How I do want to sit by the Pond and watch the Fishes and Froggies cavort. Did I say that before? Well, today went from 14F to 22F. You can see the different kinds of FREEZE there are in different places in these pictures.

Wait! What do I have my hard drive crammed with? Chopped liver? No, I have dozens of gif images that will keep the summer action in the pond alive until something catastrophic happens to the drive. Here are some of your favorite action pictures of the fishes who are probably all alive down under the hoarfrost. Did you see little Rudolph swim by? This picture was from October 20, 2021.

Here's another. The fishes are in mating season. I don't know what triggers it, but one morning you will go out there and see a mass of fishes (well, maybe 3 or 4) chasing each other round and round along the edge of the pond. This picture was taken in June 2020, before the pond was dug deeper. You can see a godzillion little tadpoles at the bottom. The blue female who is being chased around most actively is Chica, who was Chico until a female was needed for the family! Oh this makes me so happy. And I was being a whiny-butt about winter here. It can always be summer here if you have a big hard drive! For YOU, of course, you can always go to the main menu (see bottom) and search for a date you like!

Soon the Snowdrops will be taller and then we can mess with the pictures to get some more interest into them! These are moldy oldies from 2019 and 2021. The last two pictures let you click on the images to zoom in to more and more exciting bits. Have fun!

Love, Martha

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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2021