Bye for a bit!

So. Much. To. Do. Be nice to have less to do. Maybe a weekly blog is a good thing to let go for a bit. So this is the last post of the year of 2017. In the meanwhile, you may enjoy this mormon cricket.

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Huh. It’s snowing. Thought the last snow of the year is in February. Maybe there will be a serious amount of snow this year. Which would be good, if you are not fond of ticks, and bad, if you are fond of leaving your house.

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Damn diseases. Weather too nasty to go out much. Sneezing scares away the critters. Mending takes over the needlework. You will have to content yourself with this pumpkin spider seen in October.

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The lizards are cold…..

…and they’re hiding in the compost pile. So be cautious when turning.

A well constructed compost pile can be an excellently warm spot to hide for heat-seeking fall lizards. This poor uncovered guy (it’s a five-lined skink, genus Eumeces, and we’re stopping there) had to warm up on a rock for over an hour before looking for a new hiding spot. But he seemed fine despite his exposure, if a bit sluggish.

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Weather is being uncooperative, making gardening unpleasant outside. At least the mushrooms are still growing. So here you go, ten days in the life of an oyster mushroom mycelium.

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Possibly the last warm day of the year, perfect for a bike ride (if you’re human) or basking (if you’re a snake), both excellent uses of a black topped bike path. At least this rough green snake thinks so.

Sign said the path is multi-use. Even if basking wasn’t explicitly stated.

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Black swallowtail chrysalis 

Time to clean the veggie yard. This dude was sheltering underneath the dead cucumber vines.

It’s probably Papilio polyxenes. You can call it a black swallowtail if it’s an adult, or a parsley worm if it’s a larva.  Apparently the color of the chrysalis is highly variable, allowing some of the caterpillars to survive regardless of what they’re overwintering on. It’ll reappear as an adult in the spring. Adults have a high degree of sexual dimorphism: Boys have larger yellow spots on a field of black while girls have some prominent blue patches at the bottom of the hind wing. It’ll be easy to tell once it emerges. This individual spent a month or so munching on a carrot. The carrot suffered, but there were other carrots, so it’s all good. Enough carrots for everybody. And next year, cool butterflies.

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