Οκτώβριος 15, 2022

Invert Season Almost Over

At least here in the Northern part of the Northern Hemisphere!
I am looking forward to seeing Australia's cicada season, but while I'm awake and not sleeping (oops) I thought I would give myself a little run down of this year.

I joined inat in May, and did submit some older photos of interesting things.

So for this year, I observed 123 species, 116 of which were on my property.
I still have a few photos of some dead moths I found to submit but we will leave it as this, for now.

Absolute highlights for me this year include the following:

  • hearing the lone cassini on my run
  • finding the slug lair, and just in general all the leopard slugs out there this year
  • the purple polypore on the dead stump
  • seeing that enormous dragonfly flying around when I was at the zoo
  • grabbing that dark lyric cicada from a feral cat's clutches
  • finding a brood x straggler shell at the same time as the above
  • witnessing six! annual cicadas emerge, two of which occurred during the day
  • seeing that broad necked root borer hanging out on the shutters
  • all six of those stag beetles who graced me with their presence
  • seeing a katydid oviposit!
  • seeing both a hummingbird clearwing and a snowberry clearwing!

I'll try the attaching some of these observations to this post to see what that does.

I went mothing for the first time this year, and I cannot wait to do it next year. I will still go sheeting in November but I have a feeling it will be too cold by then. I found so many new things I hadn't seen before this year, and it just really proves that if you go looking, you will find something. I had intended to do the "1,000 things in 1 acre", which is why most of the things I saw were on my property. I had tried to only do things there so I could keep track easier. But I think next year I will try to go looking for things on my hikes and other places, too. Because there's a big world out there and I want to know what I can find!

There were a few unfortunate things that happened this year. I did find a squished cicada nymph, and one that got stuck in its shell. The two trees out front got struck by lightning (journal about that here). I also found a lot of dead bugs, but I do collect ones I find dead. I've cast some in resin (mostly cicadas, as they are easier), but the rest just kind of hang out in a container in my garage. I should probably try to pin them or something, but I don't really want to stick a pin in them even if they are dead. I was the kid who could not put a worm on a hook while fishing, either. (To me, lures existed and fish liked those, too.) However, I have a ton of cicada wings both brood x and annual I should probably pin, and that wouldn't bother me to do.

Now that winter is coming I have to up my birdwatching game. I've never really gone looking for birds, or bothered identifying them beyond the common ones. But we put seed out all winter and the neighborhood crows occasionally arrive to eat it (which is my favourite thing, I love crows) among all the other birds. It is definitely much easier to see birds in the winter lol. And when we have snow there will be animal tracks to identify. Other than that, I am not sure what to go looking for. I've been looking for inverts for months I don't know how to take normal photos anymore.

Posted on Οκτώβριος 15, 2022 0826 ΠΜ by kicadacat kicadacat | 9 παρατηρήσεις | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Σεπτέμβριος 19, 2022

Lightning Strike

On August 21 lightning struck the two trees in front of my house simultaneously.

Sundays I normally go to the graveyard and tend graves. But that sunday (Aug 21), it was storming and supposed to be storming all day, and I didn't know if I wanted to go out in that just due to the fact that it's (still) tornado season here. So I thought, I'll just do stuff around the house like usual and see if these storms pass. I kind of felt like I shouldn't leave, so you know, I wasn't in a hurry or anything. Taking my time.

It was just getting dark, wasn't even raining yet, when there's a flash like the sun was suddenly in the room with me, and the loudest bang I ever heard in my life. I thought a flash bang grenade went off for a moment, I lost my hearing (but knew it would return), the hair on my arms was standing straight up, and there was a tingling sensation over my whole skin. I knew that lightning had hit either the house or right above it. Then the rain started, a torrential downpour.

I couldn't see because of the rain, but when it started to ease up, I saw that the giant locust tree out front had been struck. There were shards of wood everywhere. It was almost an hour later before the rain let up enough for me to go out there, and when it did I discovered that the other tree out front, the tulip tree, was also struck by lightning. And then I started discovering lightbulbs burnt out, the garage door was broken, the tv in the family room was fried, the lights flickered any time you turned on more than one, the wifi was dead, etc.

So after chatting with all the experts all week, we put together that lightning struck both trees out front simultaneously (extremely rare to have happen) and traveled through the ground into the house.

I want to say that we do not know if the trees need to come down yet. The arborist has spoken with us extensively about it and said that trees survive lightning strikes all the time, but it is possible since they are so old that they might die over the winter. Right now we're not doing anything but waiting to see if the struck branches start dying as that will help the arborist know where to trim to help the trees.

As most of you could tell by my username, I love cicadas. The two trees that they emerge on pretty reliably are these two out front, and I hear the adults calling in them all the time. As well, they were very popular with the Brood X cicadas last year, so if we lose these trees not only will the annual cicada population be significantly altered and affected, but all the billions of first instar brood x nymphs living off of the tree roots will likely die. Yes, I have cried a lot about this. Yes, I have researched how to have a funeral for a tree. Yes, I have also researched how to make a coffee table out of a ring from a tree trunk. I love my bugs and I love their trees.

Here are some photos of what the damage was

this is the locust tree
it also has three separate cracks in the base of it, but I didn't get good photos of those.

This is the tulip tree
we found shards of wood from this tree three houses down stabbed into the ground. 😨

this is some fractal burns on the leaves of the tulip tree from being struck
I think this is completely fascinating, and i found a bunch more with these patterns that i've pressed in a book and will be framing (i collect weird things i find)

This is a helpful photo from the back of the house that shows how tall these trees actually are
the taller one is the tulip, the rounder shorter one is the locust
the house is only one story but even if it were two, the trees would be taller than it.

Posted on Σεπτέμβριος 19, 2022 0635 ΜΜ by kicadacat kicadacat | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Ιούνιος 20, 2022

Slug Lair Thoughts

I love the Slug Lair that I have discovered and love seeing the leopard slugs.

I like invertebrates, what can I say.

I try to take photos of things that are not slugs and not bugs but then... I just go back to taking photos of slugs and bugs.

Except today I saw a six point buck leaping through a soybean field and stopped to take a photo. Ended up with three pixels of deer and a lot of field.

Take me or leave me, this is how I am. :P

Posted on Ιούνιος 20, 2022 1213 ΠΜ by kicadacat kicadacat | 1 σχόλιο | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Μάιος 19, 2022

On The Search For Stragglers

I'm on the hunt for Brood X stragglers.

I have not found any yet, I don't think it's quite warm enough. I did not see my first magicicada until May 20 last year, and it was another week before they were in the billions.

I have found earthworms. Many earthworms. They are so weird, and I'm starting to like them. I love seeing them stretched out over the ground at night, the light reflecting off of them.

The little brown beetles that are so prevalent this time of year are out there too. They keep coming straight for my light, and therefore my face. Whoopse.

The other night there was a power outage and everything was quiet and dark. It was peaceful being out on the property during that time. No street lights, no house lights, nothing. It was just me and the worms.

And the mosquitos. They've definitely found me already.

Posted on Μάιος 19, 2022 1027 ΜΜ by kicadacat kicadacat | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο