October 29, 2023

Martha O'Kennon
It must be Autumn! The temperature has gone up and down; and while it rained almost every day, on October 24th, when the sun finally came up, it had stopped raining and all the world seemed GREEN! Here you can barely see the tiny bits of Fish food. It was warm enough to give the fishes their biggest wish - a Big Pinch of the good stuff.

Let's see who is running about out there. I didn't pay proper attention to any ants because there were so many other things. Let's start with a very few Beetles. Here you see an Asian Lady Beetle, this little mustard yellow fellow with black dots and the head insignia of that species with the "W" or "M" depending on which angle you call "up". Next must have been another Asian Lady, but something looked fishy (sorry Fishes) - no head insignia. It turned out to be a close look-alike, but is actually a Seven-Spotted Lady Beetle. Can you see Spot #7? Number 3 was sitting on the bathroom sink, minding its own business. It is actually a Black Vine Weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus). Last is the Redbud Seed Weevil or Redbud Bruchid.

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.

On to the Bugs! First up, and second, are a couple of Eastern Boxelder Bugs. Then the first of a few identifiable Leafhoppers. It's an old friend, Eratoneura ardens! Fourth is another member of genus Eratoneura, but not a great picture.

First here is a member of Genus Eremocoris (a member of Dirt-colored Seed Bugs, Family Rhyparochromidae) @kgrebennikov tells me it is either E. ferus or E. borealis. I have logged the former before (in May) but will leave the exact species for later. Second, how could I skip over an Assassin Bug (this one being Zelus luridus)? Third is a terrible picture and so I didn't want to deny your eyes - another Z.luridus. Fourth is once more that Stilt Bug (wonder how it got its name?).

Here are a couple more Bugs. First, that red stilt Bug in genus Jalysus (sp?) and then one of those brush-footed Bugs, Acanthocephala terminalis, with its bright orange antennae tips.

On to the Barklice! Finally, without even a hint of a nymph, this Valenzuela flavidus or Yellow Valenzuela appeared this past week (October 29th). Here are two pictures of the same adult. Say, I wonder if picture 3 might possibly be that NYMPH. It seems to be the nymph of something yellow! It was also spotted 5 days earlier than the adults you have just seen.

Here are two nymphs, then an adult Graphopsocus cruciatus; and third, a clutch of eggs, probably also of G. cruciatus.

. Here is one Polypsocus corruptus adult. Not the best photo, but it's what we had this week. Besides this rather common Barklouse, we also amazingly found this second picture on the roll. This is Aaroniella badonneli, one of the Loving Barklice, which I recall seeing only once before, on November 19, 2020 (picture 3), at about this same time of year.

Now suddenly we started seeing some of genus Trichadenotecnum again. I have several pictures, not all of which are necessarily related to each other. Diane Young says this group probably would fall into the Trichadenotecnum alexanderae complex.

Let's go visit the Flies. Something very unexpected happened this week. For some weeks, we have been following many kinds of Crane Flies, but this week suddenly things that I was sure were more Crane Flies suddenly began to be Winter Crane Flies or Winter Gnats. No kidding! So up first we see what should have been a Crane Fly a week or two ago being labeled by the ID app as genus Trichocera, a genus of Winter Gnats. Second we see the ID app labeling this obvious largish Crane Fly as a Winter Gnat (genus Trichocera) again. Third, anothe Trichocera was ID'ed by Stephen Luk, a great Fly expert, as Trichocera bimacula, even though I couldn't see the two spots indicated by the name "bimacula". I think we can just make them out in picture 3, two greyish dots on either side of the equator line a short distance down from the waist. At any rate, hello, Winter critters, goodbye, Crane critters!

Here is a Smoky-winged Woodlouse Fly (Melanophora roralis), one of the Flies we have admired before, but I love this picture because it shows the pretty leaves on which the gorgeous blue Fly was sitting.

Down to the Moths! First is a Curved-horn Moth in the Superfamily Gelechioidea, and Second is a long little Looper, the larva of a Geometrid Moth. We seemed to have quite a few Loopers, some large and active and others small and quiescent. Nonetheless, this marks the point in this blog at which we show what has become of the Flowers, Grasses and other Plants. Autumn is truly here and the Plants, like the other living beings, are beginning to fade from view.

Even the Bushy Asters are somehow throwing their branches around less and less.

One more colorful scene - the Euonymus by the front of the house is getting redder and redder. The Birds will enjoy those red seeds all Winter. This picture is actually from fall 2020!

Now to see the Spiders of the Week. Naturally, we saw quite a lot more of the Common House Spiders than most other kinds.

Here are a couple of Mantids. The first one was seen at the vet's office and is a Chinese Mantis. Same for number 2. The third was taken by Sarah Steinhauer. I don't know what it is.

Here are a few Frogs. First, a green one. Then a tiny one down in the water. Finally, that big male Tonguey.

Since it has gotten so chilly and dark, it is hard to see the Frogs very well. They have become much less friendly with us humans, and duck into any hole they can find in the pond lining when they see us coming. The same thing happened last year - but remember how joyous a day it was in this past Spring when those few big Frogs finally came up to catch some Sun!

Here are a few of our Fishes in the past week. I am supposed to scoop the old leaves out of the pond but actually think the color combinations are beautiful!

So here we have had another week with little sunshine and very little warmth, and not much in the forecast for lifting our spirits. But that is up to us. There is plenty for us to do to bring the joy back to our earth. I've been down with foot surgery for the past few days, and have more to go. But this blog is helping me to keep a positive outlook! I hope you enjoy it too!

Love, Martha

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