July 16, 2023
Yes, Summer is here. Today it is about 70 degrees F, after a night of soaking rain. We are soon about to shoot back up to the nearly 90 F we got used to over the last week. The country as a whole is seeing the first results of the global warming and climate destabilization we were warned about. Meanwhile I declared peace on the Raccoons. Every evening I unplug the pond pump, turn on the deck light, turn a radio on the deck to NPR, and sprinkle a stream of Coyote urine on the stones all around the pond. For several days, this seems to have worked. I'm waiting for the day he/she realizes it was all a trick but meanwhile, this was the pond picture this morning. Picture 2 shows the bottom of the pond after I used a deflocculant to make most of the particulate matter sink to the bottom. (At least when the pond hasn't been running in a while. This allows you to see three new areas where I've planted three new different-colored lilies. We just have to wait for some time to see if they will grow, but they all now have leaves coming up from the bottom.
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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
Let's see our Ants of the Week. First, what is probably an Immigrant Pavement Ant, actually running about on top of some plants, if you catch the irony.
The lack of Ants is more than made up for by the discovery that our young Goldenrod plants have been inhabited by these beautiful Red Goldenrod Aphids. No kidding!
Let's check out the Beetles. First a Firefly. Then two colors of Asian Lady Beetle, and finally an upside-down Mystery Blue Beetle.
The Bugs were more plentiful. After not seeing a Zelus luridus Assassin Bug, today we were graced with an adult of the species. Following that, we see two different species of Leafhopper in genus Scaphoideus.
Another Leafhopper is this tiny nymph of a Coppery Leafhopper. Since I only know two common Leafhoppers whose nymphs have a retrousse' tail, this must be one of them, and it isn't the Japanese Leafhopper. The following adult is, however, the Japanese Leafhopper. To make this subject weirder, note that the last Leafhopper is the Japanese Maple Leafhopper, a totally different species from number 2, which has no Maple in its name. Fourth shows how the Japanese Maple Leafhopper looks in another light.
Just a couple more Bugs for this Week. First, a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug nymph that loves Raspberries.
The second may be the same kind of Bug. Third is probably the eggs of a closely related Stink Bug.
Here is our White-margined Burrowing Bug, followed by a new genus (Neurocolpus) of Plant Bug (new for me). Third is the Two-marked Treehopper, which we used to call the Thorn Bug. And that seems to be the Bugs for this Week.
How about those Barklice? Well, remember for several weeks adult Ectopsocus meridionalis have been laying eggs all over the Wall. Friday those eggs suddenly began to hatch.
I haven't seen any of the other species of Barklice laying eggs or hatching in such huge masses. What I've noticed is that the fairly large population of Polypsocus corruptus (picture 1) that appeared suddenly a few weeks ago has now pretty much disappeared. I expect that in another week or so we will begin to see nymphs that will slowly grow to look like picture 2, which was taken on July 19, 2021.
Have you spotted any Valenzuela flavidus adults or nymphs lately? Me neither. They may be dormant for this little while. On the other hand, almost any day of the last months we can see an adult or nymph of Graphopsocus cruciatus, especially nymphs.
I haven't seen one of those encrusted nymphs that have been signaling that a member of Trichadenotecnum genus will be forthcoming for a while. But I have seen a few pictures that remind me of the adults. Here are a couple that showed up this week on the 12th and on the 7th.
So I'd say the Barklice are progressing just fine for this time of year. Did we see any Dragonflies or Damselflies this week? I'll say. The other afternoon a huge Dragonfly flew into my field of view, just as I was getting ready to take a picture. It turns out to be a Widow Skimmer.
So let's move on to the Flies. It was not a big Fly week. There were a lot of those tiny long-legged Flies with all the pretty colors, but I didn't take very many of their photos. This does seem to be a good time for Fruit Flies. There was also this very small Fly with big red eyes. And a third one that I don't recognize.
But it was a good week for Moth Flies, like this Bathroom Moth Fly.
And it was a good week for Moths. This first one was standing in the posture for certain Leaf Miners - Moths whose larvae tunnel through leaves. Second may be another of those Morbid Owlets. And third is a Shining Dichomeris.
This magnificent Moth is the Maple Looper Moth, Parallelia bistriaris. Second is another view of it. I don't know what the third one is.
So we will head off on a Flower Walk. I didn't take so many pictures as usual, but here we go. The wild fall Phlox is blooming its head off, while the cultivated one I bought at Horrock's years ago is getting to be about 3 feet tall and I'm hoping it will be a good bloomer this year. The Day Lily in this picture may be our last chance to see it, as it is dying off now. The Raspberries that this Stink Bug nymph is admiring are now just a few berries short of a season. And this Deptford Pink, seen on July 2, seems to be finishing for this year. (No, I saw a short rather bedraggled one today.)
Even though this Red Goldenrod Aphid is seen on not-yet-blooming Goldenrod, please allow me to use that host in honor of the flowers that will be blooming fairly soon. In picture 2, this new bud in the Goldenrod may be actually getting ready to bloom - one of these days. Third is the tiny but gorgeous
As for Spiders, I didn't see a single one that I can lay a name to. But I'll show you the better of the photos I got on the North Wall. Numbers 2 and 3 show a Common House Spider - number 3 shows an old one with its guest Wasp Larva, which has grown mightily on its Spider host.
Here we see one of the Cobweb Spiders that have been around for a month or more. Number 2 shows another mystery Spider. I've no clue what it is, sorry!
Back to the Pond. Today The two Lilies had a flower each blooming (picture 1). (Last time, each of the flowers bloomed 4 days in a row. Hopefully, if I have actually solved the Raccoon problem, there will be three different new Lilies this summer. All of those have nice-looking leaf starts already. (I went crazy and ordered one each of a red, a blue/purple, and a yellow Lily.) If you want to know what they are (assuming you want to try your hand at raising Water Lilies), email me and I will try to find the shipped message from Amazon. This is the first time I've mail-ordered Water Lilies and seen leaves for all three Lilies within a couple of weeks!
Let's check out our Frogs. The ones we had last week all seem to be here. First, here is Tonguey, familiar to us as a large Male with a protruding tongue, on the right. On the left is a female, as we see because its eardrum is about the same size as its eye.
Here are two Frogs and two red fishes. They don't seem to mind each other.
Speaking of the Fishes, they are so lovely! It makes you just feel good to see them swimming along.
Let's watch the fishes for a while. Click on the empty box to start the video. It will have full sound if you have your sound enabled. You'll hear the raucous Blue Jays and the waterfall and the wind. If you can't stand it, click the sound button off.
Summer is here, and in many places it is much less bearable than here. Please do what you can to effect the changes we need in order to survive.
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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2023