January 22, 2023

Martha O'Kennon

Another dark week at just past the middle of January! I'm writing this at 10 a.m. on January 21. We had about half a wonderful day of sun this week. That accounts for most of the pictures you'll see in here. This one is of the pond yesterday during a moment of sun. Colors everywhere!

Here is the one Ant of the week, an American Winter Ant on January 11, or as I always say for short, Winter Ant. To my surprise, a RED Ant in the Winter! I surely don't remember such a thing from any time earlier. Keep reading.

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 again 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.

It is finally so cold I now see hardly any Barklice, even Graphopsocus cruciatus like this one. For some reason, iNat calls this common Barklouse the F-winged Barklouse. Do you see any F's in the wings of this one? No worries, there will soon be more adults - these eggs look quite alive. Some of you will stand up on top of your desks and scream "Mr. Kotteeeer!" because you remember that there is another Barklouse whose eggs and nymphs are this lovely shade of yellow. You might be right, but in these overcast days most of the pictures come out orangish like this. Wanna place bets?

This first picture is of a Boxelder Bug that was sitting in the kitchen this morning. The funky texture is from the plastic box where it was sitting when I shot it. Picture 2 shows another of those Drymus unus Bugs that have been gracing the yard since the Goldenrod began to fade. Third is yet another terrible shot of an unknown Bug sitting in the dark on the 19th.

Here is what seems to be a Winter Crane Fly, followed by a Fungus Gnat or something of that ilk. I'm voting for Fungus Gnat because of the easily seen big spurs on its leg joints.

The tiny Moth ghost is still hanging around. Next is a Mystery to me. The Third is definitely a Plant leftover.

We had at least two Spiders this week. First may be a Running Crab Spider. But I usually think of a Crab Spider as having the front two pairs of arms longer than the rest. Third is a GIF of another kind of Spider, a Black Dwarf Spider, Genus Erigone.

Here is a beautiful red Wasp, a wingless female. The lack of wings is probably why I saw it at first as an Ant! It may be in genus Gelis. Number 3 is a Wasp that was ID'ed as in genus Gelis in December 2020.

Let's go see what the Pond has to offer - There are a few Fishes that are comparatively easy to see through the water. Here you can see one of the new Shubunkins I bought this summer at the top right, the orange Fish with black freckles, and another speckled one. In picture 2, you may think those reddish shapes are the orange Fishes, but they are actually the Lilies I planted two years ago with their leaves still alive. The one on the bottom left is the one I planted one year ago in the Spring. It grew very slowly all this past Summer, but it at least has one live leaf. Cross your fingers! I'm going to try again to get a few more Lilies started. Buying them online has not been very successful. Maybe I can find a place to get bigger plants to bring home. Are your fingers still crossed?

I was about to say there wasn't enough good stuff to make a blog this week but in retrospect, I enjoy finishing up the weekend reviewing what there was. I'm still hoping that when the weather is better I will be able to stay out longer taking much better pictures. My son has been away for a week now, and I'm looking for a few ways to make living alone easier and more nearly carefree. Still trying to find a way to control the flow of cats through their spaces!

I'll leave you with a view of a little breeze propagating from right to left in this image.

Love, Martha

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