July 17, 2022

Martha O'Kennon

Mid-July and heading for August, whose first couple of days used to be the hottest days of the year. But so far July has been mercifully temperate. We're in the days between having lots of flower types and the Asters, which are cooperating nicely.

The Climbing Fumitory is still blooming. The Common Day Lilies are just passing their peak (here is one mixed in with the Climbing Fumitory). And here's one of those Water Lilies, blooming for the third time!

The Ants are always interesting. First is a member of genus Myrmica, found running about on a weed in the shady part of the garden. Love those colors! The Nearctic Carpenter Ants (picture 2) are now the most common runners of the Wall. This one managed to snag a Barklouse, Metylophorus novaescotiae and is running home with the prize. In the Thistle site, the Ant of the last couple of weeks is the Winter Ant (formerly the Smaller Carpenter Ant). They are having a wonderful and fattening time by nannying the nymphs of the Keeled Treehopper (Entylia carinata). Here they are talking to one of the Mother Treehoppers, whose nickname is Stripe.

Among the Beetles, here is one of the reddest Asian Lady Beetles I've ever seen. Then we see a Redbud Bruchid. Third is a Tumbling Flower Beetle, at least by its shape.

Here is another Tumbling Flower Beetle. Next is a little Beetle with red legs and antennae. And finally, a pair of Lightning Beetles mating.

Here is a beautiful bright yellow Leafhopper, followed by two shots of another Leafhopper, probably Aphrodes makarovi (I make this guess because it resembles an A. makarovi that I've seen here before.) One friend on iNat says the last fellow with its yellow eyes resembles a Space alien. (Click a couple of times to really see the eyes.)

This first Bug is a Mystery to me. Next is one of those Phytocoris genus Bugs. The third is someone who got on the wrong side of a Spider (unseen).

Here is an Alder Spittlebug. I used to see a lot of them in the Redbud, but not so many lately. Second is a white Mystery Plant Bug. Finally, this is a nice batch of eggs of one of the Stink Bugs. Last year they got raided by one of the Phytocoris Plant Bugs.

Let's visit the colony of Keeled Treehoppers in the side yard. That folding chair seems to be getting heavier and heavier every day, but I still toddle out there to visit these friends. First, look how big the nymphs are getting. Picture 2 features a nymph with developing "keels". It takes a lot of Winter Ants to nanny them all! Third, a visit with Mother Fancy-Face and nymphs. Fourth shows the other Mother Stripe. The two mothers laid their eggs on separate thistle leaves but now the nymphs have spread out to several other leaves.

Now let's visit the Barklice. Some have come and some have gone. I followed these nymphs of an unknown species (maybe T. conterminus) for about two weeks, and finally on the 13th one nymph disappeared and I found this adult where it used to be. Yesterday the nymph on the last panel (panel 21) on the North Wall vanished and I found this adult, still attached to the moulted nymphal case. Diane and I now think the nymphs and adults are actually Psocus leidyi!

Here are some of the remaining Echmepteryx hageni nymphs (picture 1) and adults.

The Ectopsocus meridionalis adults went away after laying eggs. A day later the eggs are vulnerable to other creatures. Two days later the eggs are hatched and these nymphs remain.

No more Metylophorus novaescotiae nymphs remain. But this week we saw adults. I BELIEVE these are the adults we've been looking for. The second surely has a lot more wing color than I remember for M. novaescotiae, so I don't know how to label it.

I didn't see any Trichadenotecnum alexanderae this week, but suddenly on the 13th there appeared on one of the highest numbered panels on the North Wall this creature that I labeled as T. alexanderae last week. Thanks to Diane Young, we now know that it is Trichadenotecnum quaesitum.

The Graphopsocus cruciatus adults haven't shown up yet, but the nymphs are growing.

I only saw one Polypsocus corruptus adult this week (and no nymphs). But one new nymph appeared on panel 7. I only saw it that one time on July 13.

One Damselfly - that gorgeous Ebony Jewelwing. And an Earwig, prey of a Spider.

And now, time for the Flies! First, a tiny one that I only saw once. And then, one of the common Fly types. Third is a mystery Fly that resembles a huge Fruit Fly!

First, that Bathroom Moth Fly. Then the Asian Bush Mosquito. Third is one I called the Whirligig Fly. It moves peripatetically like the Whirligig Mite. Needless to say, it was very hard to photograph.

Suddenly in close succession I was treated to TWO fly matings. The first was among two Humpback Flies, and I had seen that kind of fly mating earlier in the year (or maybe last year). Second, I thought was a Wasp, but many people piled on to tell me it was a Fly. I was sure that was an ovipositor in the tail end.

Here is a Moth I haven't had identified yet. It rather resembles one that I showed last week and did get identified later as the Sober Renia Moth.

Usually we would be taking an extended Flower Walk, but I didn't get so many flower pictures this week. Some of the flowers were entwined with each other, like this picture of the Common Day Lilies and Phlox. Those Day Lilies also tried to crash the picture of the Climbing Fumitory (picture 2, which you might want to click on to see all those little hanging flowers). But a big surprise was in store for me in the side yard, where the Red Day Lily that the Omahan and Kaduncs gave me when they left Albion. If anyone knows their whereabouts, please send me a contact so I can thank them again.

Actually when I was out visiting the Keeled Treehoppers in the thistles, I discovered that the Thistles (Bull Thistles in fact) have begun blooming. Another bloom that has me wondering is this little bloom Near the Phlox, but actually not Phlox. Mary-Ann Cateforis convinced me of the utility of counting petals. This one has 4 petals, unlike the 5 of Phlox. I think this is a late-blooming Dame's Rocket flower. Last but nowhere near least is the splendid Trumpetvine in bloom!

The beautiful Water Lily that bloomed last weekend has just bloomed again. The pointy brown thing rising up in front of it is the bud for the Other Lily.

Now that little brown bud is about to open, and if you look closely, you'll see that another bud is getting ready to bloom when the Other Lily has finished. The second picture shows the two kinds of lily blooming on July 2. This new bud will open like the bottom lily in the picture. Third, the new Lily from Home Depot now has 5 leaves after 31 days.

Let's meet the Spiders. Of course, we always see the Common House Spiders. They are one of the easiest Spiders to tell the sex: the adult males (picture 2) are RED. Third is another picture of a pair mating.

The cobwebs generally have a round abdomen. Picture 3 shows how skillfully they can wrap up a bigger prey.

This first Spider is probably the Jumping Spider, Naphrys pulex. The second one is a mystery, a smallish Spider in the vegetation. It might be a Crab Spider, based on the way it is holding its first two arms together.

You know I'll show you my favorite Spider, Mimetus puritanus. I think, no, I'm sure it's because of the "face" on the abdomen. The third one has caught a Common House Spider.

Last, what may be the Cross Orbweaver (pictures 1 and 2). The third one looks as if it might be the same kind of Spider, but I think it's a male, while the first two are females.

Now let's relax by the Pond. Last week I had found a tiny Frog, the tiniest I'd ever seen. But the next day, a second tiny one had also found its way to the Pond. I don't know how they find it, but they seem to do that easily. Picture one shows how very little one of these is compared to the rest of the Pond. The second is a composite showing the two frogs next to one another. Can you tell any difference? I can't. Later the size of the tympanic membrane will become bigger if the Frog is a male. PS: last week, having seen only one of the Tiny Frogs in the bright sunshine, I said even its lips aren't green. But from the very next day they were just as green-lipped as they can be!

The other two Frogs are still growing. Here they are: Frog Two is the larger (first), and Frog Three (second) is the smaller. Third shows a Tiny Frog sitting next to Frog Three.

Here is a smallish Toad that I almost trod on yesterday near the Shop. Those little Toadlets are really growing. Third is a picture of two Toadlets on July 2. I'd say they are growing FAST. This new one must be twice or three times the volume of the Toadlets just out of the water!

Closing with some color-morphs of the Trumpetvine before it goes out of season!

Yet another week flown by at jet speed. Where was I this week? Must have been the one behind the camera. I'm cheating now and perusing my 3-year appointment book. Oh yes, enjoyed Pather Panchali at Film Club. Practised flute with a student - ignominious but helpful. Worked on ONE course for AALL. Had a delicious Indian dinner at a friend's. Spent yesterday afternoon trying to remember the recipe for stuffed peppers, and apparently that long-term memory isn't too bad. Hope you all had as much fun as I did.

Love, Martha

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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2022