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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Violets look sorta weird

Take a good look at the seedpod on this common blue violet, Viola sororia.

Here’s a close up.

Sorta alien lookin‘, aren’t they?

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Bee vs. fly



Here’s a bee. ———->




<——— And here’s a fly.


So, what’s the difference?

Bees: fluffy, long antenna, four wings.

Flies: not fluffy, short antenna, two wings.

Not a perfect distinction, but a good starting point. Except for the wing thing. That always works. Flies only ever got two.

Got it?

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That’s better

The needlepoint is slightly lacking. Look at this:

The highlight lacks subtly.

This second leaf is much better———->


So…rather than tearing the whole thing out and redoing, if a thread of of the darker blue is stitched randomly on top of the highlight, it might even it out a bit. And hey, it did. See? Much better. 

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Stitching leaves 




And done.


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