October 8, 2023

Martha O'Kennon

Last week I promised to publish the first Haiku someone sent in. Here is the winner from Biddy Greene, a long-time reader from Capetown!

I liked moth mystry
It looked quite peculiar
But beautiful too.

It seems as if each week the weather report has been almost identical, though overall, a little change in the colder direction has been taking place steadily. Late in this week, I got up a bit earlier than usual, and on Wednesday, as I walked east toward the window at about 7 am, the sky seemed more yellow-blue as the sun began to rise. This ushered in two days of rain! I didn't even know till now that the leaves had begun to redden.

Turning the camera to the Pond, the yellow color radiated out from the ground up here too.

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.

I didn't get many pictures of Ants this week. I believe this one is a Winter Ant, and have written to @mettcollsuss for confirmation. Later in the week, I saw this red Ant on the Wall of Fame. It also looks like a Winter Ant. Color doesn't mean so much to Ants.

The Bees have almost dropped off the surface of the earth, now that the Goldenrod and especially the Asters have begun to disappear. Beetles are still scarce too. But the Bugs are doing well. Amazingly well. For luck, let's start with the Assassins. Here is an Ambush Bug from the back yard. We also saw the Zelus luridus several times, with various mixtures of yellow and green and reddish.

Leafhoppers were multitudinous, to say the least. Second is the best image I got of a Leafhopper in genus Eratoneura. There were LOTS of these, but most of this genus are either fuzzy (my fault) or obscure (one of MANY variations without name). I believe pictures 1 and 2 both represent the same individual. Picture 3 not.

This first one is the Complex Osbornellus auronitens, probably the first time I've got past Osbornellus. Second is the Red-banded Leafhopper. Third is another Leafhopper in genus Aphrodes. I've found in my long career (over the past few years) that Aphrodes is a catchall genus for anything you don't recognize in your image book.

A couple more Hoppers. First is Erasmoneura vulnerata. Second is an Issid Planthopper named Thionia bullata, not a Leafhopper at all. Third is a picture I took on July 17, but only just this week received an ID from Solomon Hendrix of iNat. He says it is Penthimia americana (a member of Typical Leafhoppers Family Cicadellidae), so it is a Leafhopper after all.

Here is a Stink Bug in genus Euschistus, followed by a yellow Bug with tiny spots, and by a Critter that is still a mystery for me. Last is a Stilt Bug (a member of True Bugs) in genus Jalysus.

Some Bugs that are also not Hoppers! Someone asked me the other day, had I or not begun to see the Eastern Boxelder Bug? The next day, I admitted that I'd finally seen one on the Shop Wall. But actually I've also seen them in the dining room/organization room and in my bedroom. They apparently didn't think much of my housekeeping, but relished to no end the crumbs of cookies and other delectables. I took to secreting them in the empty Family Fare cookies container, to be released the next morning out the little bathroom window. It got to me finally that that thing walking on my cookie hand was the beloved Boxelder Bug, but I haven't seen/felt one for several nights now. It's time for the Drymus unus mating pairs to wander onto the dead and dying Goldenrod for their annual festival. So when I saw this second fellow, I was pretty sure it was that very D. unus. But when I asked Jean-Francois Roch if this wasn't one of them, he countered with Tribe Myodochini, a member of Dirt-colored Seed Bugs Family Rhyparochromidae and a cousin of D. unus. A couple of days ago, I found a real D. unus in the Goldenrod leavings (picture 3).

Here are a few more Drymus unus. I hadn't realized how much Red they can contain!

On to the barklice! Here is an adult Echmepteryx hageni, one of the shaggy Barklice. Then you see two of the Polypsocus corruptus adults. I wonder why they are called "corrupt".

Here are a few Graphopsocus cruciatus.

Here we are at the Flies! First our [getting to be] old favorite, the Bathroom Moth Fly. Then one of the rare mosquitos that let me photograph it instead of its having a sip of that good old O-positive! Last, a Fly whose identity I have no idea of.

Here are two views of a nice little Fly about the size of a House Fly.

Some more Flies: A colorful hairy Fly, and a pretty little Crane Fly.

And here is a lovely little moth - at least I love the patterning at the ends of its wings. It looks like Phyllocnistis vitifoliella. The next two pictures are of a tiny tiny little looper in the tribe Boarmini.

It seems to be time for our weekly Flower Walk! You can see the Japanese Anemones are going a bit downhill. Those lovely circular buds have turned into the centers of the flowers and in fact now are beginning to be lovely seed pods.

Here are some of the Asiatic Dayflower flowers. (This particular plant has usually got four or five flower heads per day.)

Looking back at the former stars of the show, the Asters are not all gone, and the Euonymus is gathering strength. What a color combination! The second picture shows a tiny white Aster that appeared about a week and a half ago. Someone on iNat thought, "American Aster".

The Colchicum is beautiful even though it has collapsed in the front yard (not shown) and is continuing to do so in the back yard.

There is one large [Water] Lily bloom open near the edge of the Pond, and another getting ready to bloom. In picture 1 you can see a bit of damage made by Rocky as he helped get the bud open.

The cultivated Phlox is folding in the back yard. Picture 2: A cluster of Wild Phlox flowers. Picture 3: Even the wild Phlox in the side yard is almost completely bare.

On the deck in a box, the Purple Sage is finally looking the way it was supposed to look when I bought it in June. On the ground, the Virginia Creeper is still brilliantly red.

Here are the Coral Berries, getting ready to cheer me up all winter. It will just be a flick of the eye until we see the new season covered with Fraternal Potter Wasps. Maybe a long flick, but you know what's coming. pictures 2 and 3 show the European Earwigs. Maybe you still hate them from when you had to bring in the clothes off the line! But I think they're exotic now!

The Flower Walk over, we head out to Spider Land. Here's a little Cellar Spider; a Common House Spider; and an American Nursery Web Spider.

Here's a Grass Spider and two shots of a looong-legged mystery Spider.

This first Spider seems to be guarding the egg mass above it. But whose egg mass? Spider 2 seems to have gotten unlucky with its new friend. And number 3 is a Harvestman, not a Spider but an Arachnid. He counts in my book.

My favorite Spider, the Common Pirate Spider (mimetus puritanus) made several appearances this week. Here he is on October 10, and on October 2 at 3:10 pm, and at 11:51. It seems obvious to me that these are three separate Spiders.

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 two females (who may be the same individual) and one male. Last is one of the Tinies, who are less Tiny every time I see them.

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.

There is one more person that I would like to say Goodbye to today. On Saturday Spooky did not feel well and hadn't eaten overnight. I took her to the veterinarian's, and the doctor there felt that given her advanced age (17 years) it would save her a lot of suffering to let her go to sleep. I agreed and the euthanasia took place. I brought Spooky home and dug the best hole I could for her with the promise of trying to find a nice stone depicting a resting cat for her. There are some Cats that really are people. All this summer she has wanted to be outdoors. She would sleep in the Pulmonaria, and come up to the porch for lunch, then go back to sleep with a few turns to drink from the Pond and discover frogs, walk up to them and bump them into the water. Then she would come over where I was sitting for an ear-scratching, and repeat the cycle. I wish I believed that we would be rejoined at some future (but not too future) date - I am of course also seventeen cat years old as of August. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy. First shows her waiting at the door for her beloved Chaim to come out and socialize. Next, rolling in the Sun. And finally, surveying her queendom.

Well, here we are at the end of another week. Summer is really slipping away! Best wishes to all, not just here but everywhere. And not just now, but as long as we can participate in the healing.

Love, Martha

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