October 15, 2023
Last week I promised to publish the first Haiku someone sent in. It was so satisfactory I made the same offer, but I got two Haikus this time.
Here is one from first-time Haiku poet Nick Sunsdahl of Duluth, Minnesota.
Something like a snow party
Winter's coming, no?
But then when Biddy Greene, a long-time reader from Capetown, sent in another, I couldn't refuse:
Haikus are easy
But they need to mean something
Not just scan okay
The weather report from South Central Lower Michigan has been about the same as last week:
Rain for a day or two, pleasantly chilly, and rain for a day or two. There were a few days in which the fishes didn't even bother to come up and look for food. But the past couple of days, the air temperature hit the 50's F. The water temperature was just about 50 degrees F. The fish looked interested and I gave them about half the food I usually gave. The Euonymus in the front yard has gotten redder and redder!
Lets look at our Ants. First, A European Black Carpenter Ant. Next is one of the Fusca-group Field Ants. Third is a Winter Ant.
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Were there any Bees? Nothing like those of two weeks ago! The Asters seemed to come with their own little Bees stuck right on the center. But not this week. So how about Beetles? These little bright red Beetles were all over some places. And the Asian Lady Beetles, like these next two kinds, were easier to see than sometimes. If you want to check for Asian Lady Beetles, look at the decoration on the head - in both these Beetles, the ornamentation seems to be a "W" or a "M".
That seems to be it for the Beetles. So let's move on to the Bugs. They are usually easier to find. And they come in such varied shapes! Usually I start with the Assassin-type Bugs, but this week I didn't see any of them. Not the Zelus Assassin Bugs nor the Ambush Bugs. Neither of those! I did see this bluish Bug that other than its color reminded me of its similarity to the Drymus Unus I usually associate with this time of year. This year is the first time I've seen them with shades of red and blue. Picture 2 shows a pair of them mating in the Goldenrod.
I was pretty sure I wouldn't find an identification for this next Bug. It didn't look like anything I'd ever seen. But my friend Andrew Meeds said, it looks like a nymph (instar 3 or 4) of one of the Euschistus Stink Bugs. Well, my North Wall has been thick with little Euschistus Brown Stink Bugs. So I decided that was the solution. Picture 2 was taken of one of those tiny Stink Bugs on September 21. The third little bug looks like the Stilt Bug (genus Jalysus) we saw last week.
Which brings us to the Leafhoppers. There were lots of them. First is Erasmoneura vulnerata. Then we see a mostly yellow Leafhopper in Tribe Typhlocybini (a member of Microleafhoppers Subfamily Typhlocybinae). This one was identified by Kyle Kittelberger and Solomon Hendrix. Third is an overexposed shot of Eratoneura ardens.
A couple more Hoppers. First is a fellow with a very simple pattern which reminds me of the tree-shaped pattern of the Arboridia genus. But Arboridia is now called Erythridula, so this one is in genus Erythridula. Second is a yellow-patterned member of genus Eratoneura.
Here is a member of Jikradia olitoria, the Coppery Leafhopper. This picture reminds me that I missed seeing any of the early instars, in which the nymph seems to have a large snout.
I have to admit that I had forgotten to take a nice picture of a Boxelder Bug but when the first one of the day turned out to be walking casually past my cookie box I chased him or her away instead of reaching for my camera!!! Maybe we have seen enough Bugs for the weekend!
Let's switch instead to the Barklice, or Psocids. Here is a little family of Graphopsocus cruciatus. Third look like G. cruciatus eggs.
Here is an Echmepteryx hageni, showing its shaggy coiffure and its light (probably green) eyes.
It is followed by a Polypsocus corruptus. Third MAY BE Graphopsocus cruciatus about to moult that big yellow dollop of goo!
Now just one more thing before we investigate the Flies! Last week you saw this European Earwig (two shots).. Third here is another European Earwig as it was this week.
NOW for the Flies, in particular the Crane Flies. One that we saw last week and again this week is Cladura flavoferruginea. Third here is Limonia annulata. Doesn't it look as if it had been printed with a Japanese cloth printing block?
More Crane Flies!
This one was a surprise. I still don't know what it is, but the eyes and antennae look interesting.
This little Fly may be a Fungus Gnat (Genus Mycetophila) or a Gall Midge (Subfamily Cecidomyiinae). I'm waiting for clarification. Next is either a green-eyed Midge or a Mosquito. Third (with the elaborately curled antennae) is probably a Mosquito.
First has an ordinary Fly-shape, so is a Muscoid Fly of some sort. Second seems to be an ice skater or some such athlete. The third is either predator or prey of a Spider.
This first one is probably a Spotted Drosophila Fly. The next two are probably of a Midge of tribe Tanytarsini.
A Looper showed up on the 9th. It is partially identified as the caterpillar of an Engrailed Moth.
This little red Moth appeared on the 8th and stayed around for a few days. It was identified as a Celery Leaftier Moth (Udea rubigalis).
It seems to be time for the weekly Flower Walk. Let's go to the fence where the Japanese Anemones made merry for a couple of months. This is what's left as of October 9.
The great panoplies of Asters are about gone to seed now. But here is a spray of Dark Blue Asters with one dark bluish Bee,
and another with pink flowers.
What now happens in Asterland is that a species (probably American Aster) has popped up now bearing tiny white Flowers in the back yard. Here you see it on the 6th and on the 9th.
And another kind of tiny light-blue Aster has begun to bloom in the backyard.
The cultivated Phlox is all gone now, but the wild Phlox outlasted it by a few days. A single leaf was still standing tall out back. This red leaf was stuck to the North Wall.
The Coral Berries are still red/pink in the front yard. So is the Virginia Creeper. And now I think the Flower Walk is about over. But first check out the Sage in the deck box on the railing!
Let's turn now to the Spiders. Here is a Cellar Spider. Next is a Common House Spider, in one of my favorite poses. To me, it looks as if this spider has a NOSE at the center of the face. But actually this Nose is on the other side of the real Spider's real face. Third is a Grass Spider. But I don't recognize this last one!
One more visitor. We had a lovely reddish Wasp a couple of days ago. Anyone know who it was?
Let's visit our friendly Frog family. They are less likely to be out of the water these days, but they are often to be seen wading at the top of the water. Here are a female and a male. Last is one of the Tinies, who seem less Tiny every time I see them. This one seems to be a female.
Here are a few Fish pictures. I like taking pictures when the turbulence is showing in the water. This morning the water temperature was only 50 degrees F, so I didn't feed them but kept the pump going for aeration. It may be too chilly from now on to feed them for the winter.
Now you know the story of my beloved Spooky. Since she left us last week Tripper has been slowly acclimating herself to being an only kitty. Somehow or other she convinced me that warm cat food is edible and that ice-box cold is not. So for a few extra minutes a day, this Cat has convinced me that the few extra minutes of my time is more than worth the pleasure of hearing a cat purring as she digs into that delicious food. (Omigod the SUN has just come out for the first time this weekend!) My friends, thank you for all the sympathy notes you send me last weekend. Let's hope that together we can bring the world to the state it was meant to be in. Thanks again for being my friends! Let's also share the Sun's efforts to warm our hearts during that sudden burst of warmth and color and squirrels!
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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2023