Entries to Win Afghan


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Winners are: 3rd place- e-book of your choice: Wendy Nystrom. 2nd place- book of your choice, paper or e-book: Sue Ann Crawford. Winner of the afghan: Elaine Hull.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Oh Yes I Did! (See a New Plant)

 
You know any hike/outing where I see a new (to me) plant is an extra treat. I thought I didn't see a new one on this last hike, but tonight when I was looking at the pictures I discovered I was wrong.

I thought this was Swamp Rose Mallow. Pretty much a look-alike from a distance.

halberd-leaved rose mallow

But then I got a little excited when I looked in the book and saw that the dark throat is a better match for Halberd-leaved Rose Mallow.

halberd-leaved rose mallow

But did I get a good enough picture of the leaves to be sure? I did! Very distinctive. The name, Hibiscus militaris comes from this shape like a halberd or spear.

halberd-leaved rose mallow

Also note the funky buds.

What fun!



See Swamp Rose Mallow
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Monday, August 22, 2016

Horse Nettle

 
If I showed you this plant and asked you what it is, you might not know the exact answer, but you might say that the flowers look a lot like a tomato, or a potato, or maybe deadly nightshade.

horse nettle

You would be right on! They are all members of the Solanaceae family of plants. The flowers of this one can be white or purple. Very distinctive shape.

horse nettle

But the giveaway to identify this one is the soft spines on the stem. Solanum carolinense, horse nettle.

horse nettle

See Ag Report- Odds and Ends
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Northern Pearly-Eye

 
I'd love to show you a picture of this butterfly on some beautiful flower. But it landed on my car door, so that's the background you get. It's a northern pearly-eye, Enodia anthedon.

This is not an uncommon butterfly, but I don't recall noting it before. I probably wasn't looking closely because it doesn't have bright colors. Shame on me; it's really pretty.

northern pearly-eye

There is a southern pearly-eye, and a creole pearly-eye. They get progressively lighter colored.

Yesterday was a day of exhaustion, a sore foot, and rain. My goal was to do as little as possible, and I succeeded.

Today was better. This afternoon the sky was blue, the air was cool and I took a 3-mile walk just so I wouldn't forget how. Ha!

See Common Wood Nymph
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Friday, August 19, 2016

Driving Home

 
Yesterday morning as I was leaving Ester's house I missed the more beautiful picture I wanted to take. Had to settle for this one. Still, it's pretty cool.

sun in fog

I got extra work hours, so have to scoot along back to work very soon. It's all good.


See Foggy Morning Bedtime
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Sweat Bee's Secret

 
The defining insect of this hike was the sweat bee. Sure there were cicadas in the trees (but not like the last trip at ALL), and the wonderful cricket, and lots of butterflies, but the sweat bees were an unavoidable nuisance. There are two on my leg and several more on my shoe in this picture.

sweat bees

So, Ester was looking at one rather closely one day, and she said, "It doesn't look like a bee. It has fly eyes and fly mouthparts."

Huh. I'd never looked that closely before. Actually, I haven't seen too many of these since I was a kid, and I'm not a fanatic about insects the way I am about plants.

sweat bees

Anyway, it turns out she is right. These are actually hoverflies. There are lots of kinds of them. It might be Episyrphus balteatus, or maybe not. I didn't collect any for further study (unless I find some dead ones in my gear somewhere). I bet Ester has a few folded in the tent!

sweat bees

They can not bite or sting, but they certainly tickle. They like to just sit on your sweaty body and touch you gently, hoovering up the sweat. Tickly things make me nuts!

However, they are really good. Their larvae eat tons (probably literally) of aphids which damage all kinds of plants.

So, I learned something really interesting. Any my request is that you try not to swat the sweat bees. I think I only killed a couple when I just couldn't stand it any more.


See Saved by the Clouds, and Ester
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