March 6, 2022
Today seems the most Springly we have seen up to now. Today the Pond is completely unfrozen and the fish seem interested in food. A very small few Critters are beginning to show themselves on the shop Walls.
Last week I was joyful to have seen the slow-growing Snowdrops in the Seelys' yard (picture 1), and hinted that the Winter Aconites would be next.
But it was not until Doug White waxed cheerfully that his Winter Aconites (picture 1) were up that I got out the rake and found mine (picture 2) among the damned Vinca minor, which voraciously covers up anything smaller.
I started assembling this Blog a couple of days ago. Now I can brag that some of my Winter Aconites are already spreading their golden color around their world. And my Snowdrops are suddenly getting tall in the corner bit of yard outside the kitchen windows. Now the Scylla or Squills are popping through the ground. Not far from the Squill is a leaf, sitting askew so that we can see a tiny grouping of SOMETHING. I call them the "Borrowers", based on the old story about little people who live under our floorboards and who are responsible for the lost needles, socks, etc that fall below the floor, and find perfectly fine uses for them.
Here is an enlarged picture of the Borrowers under the leaf (picture 1). You might imagine, along with me, that here is a Lady not so different from US with her pet Cow. Next, on my mud-plod around the Shop, a number of new things showed themselves. First, I had thought this was a Sawfly, but a number of people all suggested it was a Gall Wasp. I am delighted to finally be seeing a Gall Wasp with more interesting wings than the others I've ever seen.
Here is a real Fly, which looks so much like the generic House Fly that I didn't know where to start looking! Next, a couple of scruffier ones.
This (another real Fly) was given the "probable" name of Sapromyza brachysoma by Chris Angell.
This (first two pictures) is a Tiger Fly of some species. Third is a member of genus Suillia.
This little looper (larva of some kind of Moth) was seen three days in a row in the same place. It will grow up to be a Geometrid Moth.
In fact, this was a good weekend for Loopers. I saw three or four individuals today in different pars of the Wall.
Here's the Canterbury Cathredal of this blog, aim of the trek made by the Miller, the Teacher, and Chaucer. And me, who plod every or every other day to the back side of the Shop to visit the structure left by some creature - who knows what - and to determine finally what species erected the masterpiece. If you know what the mother creature was, call out "Whan that Aprille, with its shoures soote, the drogtes of March hath perced to the roote, and bathed every veyn in swich likoor, of which vertu engendred is the floor"..
I think our Geoffrey got it right. We are in March, and heading towards the quencher of droughts that we call April. No fool he. And it makes me remember our dear friend Jim Cook, who used to be able to holler out the Prelude to the Canterbury Tales at the drop of a hat. If you look hardish at these two pictures, you may see some evidence in a couple of places that maybe, just maybe, one of the little images or two are becoming almost recognizable (don't ask of what!)... Picture 3 shows the dark-colored Barklouse eggs that we've been watching for some good time. There are still eight of them, meaning they haven't begun to hatch yet.
The fishes are finally beginning to be more active. It is still too soon to start feeding them (water temp needs to be above 55 F), but when I come out to greet them, they huddle around, looking hopeful.
The other day, shooting through the ice, I got this amazingly colored sight (picture 1). I'd like to be able to produce that in paper collage, but can I? Dave Kammer says the color variations are caused by the refraction of light as it passes through the icy layers.
Let's look to see if we got any spiders this week. Why, what a surprise. First is a mystery Spider; So is number 2, but it MAY be a Running Crab Spider - I'm checking this out on iNat; then comes (Surprise - one that we know!) That ladder theme on its back tells us this is an Orchard Orbweaver, or Lecauge venusta. You know it in the summer by its brilliant and diverse colors, but this is what the babies look like for quite a while.
I was lucky enough to get this Orchard Orbweaver to do its dance for me. See you next week!
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