September 11, 2022
Speaking of Raccoons, last night at about 10:00, before I turned off the pump, the little buggers got there before me, moved the end of the input hose, and spilled all the water out of the pond. I'm looking forward to that water bill. Meanwhile, the water temperature is getting down to almost 60 F. When it is below 55 F, I will have to stop feeding the fishes. Apparently California is getting our summer weather!
The Japanese Anemones are really blooming now! The purple Asters are are doing their thing, and the pink ones are catching up. That pink Water Lily was blooming yesterday. We'll have to wait and see if it can continue. It's apparently too chilly for the other Lily. It quit blooming last week.
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.
The usual stream of Ants on the shop siding has slowed somewhat. When I first saw this one with its hairy gaster, I thought of the Eastern Black Carpenter Ant, but the shape of the segments before the gaster was off. Emmett Collins-Sussman of iNat identified it as a member of the Fusca group, and probably Formica subsericea. Meantime, since the blooming of the Asters began this week, the quantity of Bees has improved greatly. Number 2 here is a medium-sized Bee - I'm still waiting for a probable ID as we speak. Last is probably the Silky Striped Sweat Bee, Agapostemon sericeus. I think it is one of our most beautiful common Bees.
I'm also still waiting for an ID to see if this is really Lasioglossum pilosum. If so, this is the best shot I have ever gotten of this species. Next is a Pure Gold-green Sweat Bee, Augochlora pura. Third was identified by Joel Neylon of iNat as Subgenus Zadontomerus, a member of Small Carpenter Bees (Genus Ceratina). It MIGHT be the same as the second Bee in the row above this one.
This first little bee is Andrena nubecula, the Cloudy-winged Mining Bee. It carries thick pollen masses on either side. Next, this tiny Bumblebee was a big surprise - it's the Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens). I would have thought the COMMON one would be one of the great big Bumblers.
On to the Beetles. Of course, we saw the Asian Lady Beetle a few times. What a jolt of color it brings to our eyes. Second is a Rove Beetle, one of the Beetles whose hard protective wings are cut off short, leaving the wings hanging out below. Boris Bueche says it is in Subtribe Philonthina. Third is a small Beetle wih two red spots on the top of the wings.
Here we have the Locust Borer Beetle, followed by two Weevils - the Beetles with an elongated snout. The first is unidentified, but the second is the Redbud Bruchid. Late on Saturday, this Goldenrod Soldier Beetle showed itself!
Here is that Pennsylvania Ambush Bug. Those strong claws (click on the image to see one claw circled in red) are capable of holding the prey very tightly. Next is its relative in the big Assassin Bug family, the Pale Green Assassin Bug, Zelus luridus. I just realized that I have not seen a single Adult of this Assassin Bug this summer, so (picture 3) I've added a picture from 2021 so you AND I can refresh our memories of what the Adult looks like. Next is once more a baby Thread Bug, Empicoris errabundus. We saw our first of these a moth or so ago, and a week or two ago we saw the Adult. This baby is so small, it was almost invisible. To me this is a confirmation of just how QUICKLY the summer has raced along.
The Leafhoppers are becoming a bit fewer as Autumn approaches. First is our old friend Erasmoneura vulnerata. Then come Eratoneura ardens (the Ardent part stands for "Burning", referring to the dark "burn mark". The third one is another member of the large genus Scaphoideus. There are so many kinds of Scaphoideus, and so many have not been put into the web of species.
To understand picture 1, look at this part of the family tree of Leafhoppers (for example) and Cicadas. They are all under the True Bugs and the tree includes this:
True Bugs -> Spittlebugs, Cicadas, Leafhoppers and Treehoppers
So here is the Cicada (in Subtribe Cryptotympanina). And the Alder Spittlebug. Here is also ONE Stink Bug, the ever-popular Dendrocoris humeralis. And that is our Bugs for the Week!
Let's check out our Barklice. First is an adult Echmepteryx hageni. The nymphs are not only pretty easy to identify nowadays, but one of their characteristics is their SPEED. They not only walk very fast but also sometimes seem to HOP. Of course, in video 3, it is hopping on a vertical wall. But it saves itself.
The week was fairly slow for Graphopsocus cruciatus. Here's an adult, followed by a batch of nymphs that hatched from a nest like the one you saw her creating a week or two ago. Last is one of many nests of eggs scattered around the North Wall. Soon there will be lots of adults again.
Polypsocus corruptus nymphs are all over but hatching now. Picture 2 shows an adult on bottom, with another nymph to follow above. Third must be a highly embarrassed nymph. It's an exaggeration of the red on most nymphs.
For a couple of weeks, we've had a number of obvious Metylophorus novaescotiae nymphs, and quite a few indeterminate adults from another batch of nymphs. But the current nymphs are hatching into adults with at first more nearly see-through wings, and many of them are in a good position to see the two-dot pattern on the back of their heads.
Since Betty-lou turned into a Trichadenotecnum adult, I've found three that seem related on panels 8-10 of the North Wall. On panel 10 I've seen Jean-paul for several days now. Ones that I'm still calling "Other a" and "Other b" are also holding steady on panels 9 and 8. Actually "Other b" moves a few inches across the dividing line between panel 9 and panel 8, but I think I now know their pattern. This makes it a bit easier to see them each morning and afternoon. Here you see Jean-paul, "Other a" and "Other b", moving left from panel 10.
On panel 18, for several days running, one could see a very small nymph called "Baby". Here it is on September 8 and 9. On September 10, I couldn't see Baby. Flash! This morning (September 11) I found "other b" missing. In its place was a clearly Trichadenotecnum adult, very possibly Trichadenotecnum alexanderae.
So let's turn to the Flies. The Greenbottles love to show themselves off against the Glorious Goldenrod! It almost takes my breath away each time I see one! I believe these are the Common European Greenbottles. I just had to start with these beautiful Flies.
I usually start alphabetically with the Crane Flies. I saw two tiny ones this week.
Next we see two non-biting Midges. Pictures 2 and 3 show one of my favorite kinds of Midges, those in Tribe Tanytarsini, which are all a most lovely shade of green.
Is this a Midge or a Mosquito? I've got the question in at iNat. But we know that the third one here is the Bathroom Moth Fly. Flash. The first picture is of a Non-biting Midge! Leeanne C. Garrett, a Public Health Entomologist with the Ohio Department of Health, said via iNat that Midges hold their front legs up while Mosquitoes hold up their back legs!
These three Flies are in that group that LOOK like what we think of as Flies.
Here are a couple of Flies I found late on September 10.
This first Moth is an Elegant Grass-Veneer. The second is a member of Tribe Crambini, which is a member of Grass-veneers and Allies (Subfamily Crambinae). So they are related.
I think it's time for our Flower Walk. Those Japanese Anemones are so beautiful. The Purple Asters began to show their Flowers last week, but this week they are irrepressible. They look differently colored depending on where they are. (And where you are.)
But THIS week the beautiful Pink Asters are beginning to shout, "Look at ME!" And the Bees answer by flocking to them. Soon I hope we will be seeing the Monarchs come this way.
Walking past the two kinds of Phlox, I recall making fun of the cultivated Phlox - it was finishing up while the ordinary Fall Phlox (picture 1) was still going. But this week (while I wasn't watching) the cultivated set new buds and is now starting to rebloom!
The yellow fellows, the Celandine Poppy (picture 1) and the Common Tall Evening Primrose
(picture 2), are far from over. The Pulmonaria is beautiful while gathering strength for next spring.
We have just a couple more Flowers to find. That rogue Spiderwort came back to life for a couple of weeks, but now seems to have gone back to sleep! The Asiatic Day Flower is still blooming every few days by the Pond. And one of the Water Lilies entertains the Tiny Frogs and gives them a place to sun themselves.
So let's see what the Spiders are up to. I bet you already know a few of the things they like to do (or not). The Common House Spiders love their prey wraps. This first one has only begun the wrapping process. The second has a HUGE supper which could last for days. Third is a Cobweb Spider and you can be sure it will be on the prowl too.
Now: here is our favorite (well, mine at least) Spider, the Common Cannibal (Mimetus puritanus) on the East Wall about knee height. Picture 2 shows a second one, also on the East Wall, but quite a bit to the north of the first one. We know these two Spiders aren't the same individual, since Number 1 is a MALE and number 2 is a FEMALE. (How?) Picture 3 shows another of them on the North Wall on panel 19, a couple of inches above the bottom edge of the Panel. I was searching for "encrusted Barklice" and this had enough lighter abdomen that it stood out and so I snapped it, thinking this would be a picture to reject.
First is one of the Cellar Spiders. Next seems to be another Common House Spider with a major Wasp (Tribe Ephialtini) larva on it. Third is a tiny little Crab Spider in the Aster buds, probably waiting for the Aster to bloom, and a Bee to light upon it. What patience! What intellect!
So, on to the Wasps. This first one MAY be in genus Arachnophroctonus (sounds as if it is a Spider hunter, doesn't it?). I'm showing two pictures of the next Wasp. Its blue-black body and wings and its great size can probably only mean one thing - the Great Black Digger Wasp. I don't often see one of these but I asked Susanna H to ID it - she's seen it over a thousand times!
This is probably a female Dark Paper Wasp. The second is a male. So is the third. Remember, the male has a "shield" insignia on its face, which picture 1 doesn't. And usually an orange dot on the abdomen. But these wasps are so variable!
You see this Aerial Yellowjacket often these days. It, like the Bald-faced Hornet, makes its paper nest in trees, not underground. The second Wasp was a real treat to see this week. This is the female of the species Ichneumon Annulatorius. Third is a picture from 2019 of the male. Both sexes are extremely beautiful.
Let's check out the Pond. I told you that two nights ago I thought I had unplugged the water pump that brings water back to the Pond. But somehow I didn't. About 10:00 Chaim woke me up saying that the water was all out of the Pond. So we had to refill it. The good news is that this misadventure didn't seem to kill any of the Fishes. The Raccoons are just so playful and love to experiment with anything that can be grabbed and manipulated. But I said some very awful things about the one that caused me so much annoyance. Can't wait to see the Water Bill. The Pond seems back to about usual.
Let's see what we have had this week in the Pond. Picture 1 shows 4 different sized Frogs. Next we see the Lily that seems a bit more robust blooming and admiring the tiny Frog that has gained a lot of color since his arrival in the Pond. I was just heading downstairs to get a couple of pictures for today, but it is raining pretty nicely.
Here are a few pictures of the Fishes, mostly begging for their lunch. I don't even have to call them now, just stand at the edge of the Pond where I usually feed them.
Two weeks ago on a Monday, the power went off all over the place. My generator came on and kept us in electricity. At the same time, the Internet disappeared. I used up more data points than I should have by using my cell phone as a mobile hotspot, and finally it disappeared for good. By the weekend I kept working on your September 4 Backyard Blog offline, and hoped that IT would be able to get my server accessible but that took almost another week. That's why you were sitting disconsolate by the 'puter hoping against hope that the Blog would arrive. A couple of days ago they got it going at IT. So now I'm sending you BOTH Blog installments. Also, to make it up to you, I made some color morphs of a picture of those beautiful Japanese Anemones. Here they come!
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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2022