Tag Archives: insects

Where the Wild Things Are

22 Oct

Last weekend we sent to the farm. A Monarch came back tot the house.  It was found in the grass beside a cornfield being battered by the wind and rain.  It lived in the kitchen for over a day and then went outside. A second one was seen flying around the next day up by the airstrip.

Monday friends from overseas came to supper.  M especially liked the squirrels!

The mornings are colder now.  A bow hunter parked in the lane this morning.  It is deer season.  Jay went out and shot a pheasant with a bow!  A first!

When walking, the crunchy noise emanating from the drifts and layers of leaves  is so delightful it often takes my mind off what was being thought about.

One topic of repeated consideration is how much God has used/ is using Hawthorne to teach me about parenting.  Here are today’s thoughts:

Because of the hunter, this morning Hawthorne was on a leash for most of our time together.  He tends to pull, wanting me to go faster, or the way he wishes.  Not unlike a teen.  What works best?  Each time he pulls, I stop and stand still until he comes toward me, making the line slack.  It takes a long time to actually go anywhere by this method since it has to be repeated every few seconds for the first ten minutes.  But gradually he remembers.  Near the the end of the walk he kept the line taut but never pulled hard and always gave way if I slowed down or changed direction.  Then he went off lead for the last two fields home.  Hurrah!   Our children also have pulled on the lead ropes, wanting their head, wanting their way before we parents thought it was time.  And the best way to train them is to not give in.  And not yell.  Just quietly refuse to do business with their ideas of what is appropriate and slowly walk on.  And let them loose when it is time.

The girl just had a (to her) significant birthday: we will now allow her to wear a modicum of eye and face makeup.  The leash is loosening.  and today i heard her say that this year was going to be “the best: no lying, no deception!”  Straining at the leach.  I’m sure.

Catch and Release

9 Oct

The forefinger largehairy caterpillar eating on the Milkweed fell off the plant I picked so it did not come home to be photographed.  It sure was not a monarch larva.  It was a caterpillar.

The red darning needle dragonfly was rattling under a piece of grass.  Freeing it, holding it in my hand, wondering if I should set it free or keep it for cards.  It was a spectacular  bright red.  It flew off just then and I was happy the decision was made for me.

The Black Swallowtaillarva went back out into the dill and promptly disappeared.  It overwinters as a pupa so perhaps it got ready for winter.

We found one Katydid still alive and kicking in the long grass verge on the side of the corn field.

Earl and Merle Squirrel have increased their range dramatically.  They now go over the lower roof to the west side of the house, they meet us at the door, and this afternoon Earl was on top of the freezer in the back room; I gave him a chestnut, got hold of him and he jumped onto the door and up over the roof.

Jay took Isabelle hunting Saturday and they came home with one goose.

 

And while we were cleaning up the garden, we thought maybe the answer to higher food prices is to feed out the turnips.  One of these would feed a family for a couple days.  Or even longer if no one likes turnips! Turnips as large as your head.


The First Frost

6 Oct

Yesterday morning stepping outside  in the predawn was like stepping into a refrigerator.  There were still a few intrepid insects singing.  A couple early birds.  When the sun came up the crows, squirrels, chipmunks all started their morning calls.  We walked to within 100 yards of a buck feeding  on the corn left in the field.  For breakfast: my mother’s homemade blackberry jelly on home made toasted bread.

Yesterday during the day the east cornfield was harvested.  It was clear sky all day and into the evening.  I harvested the rest of the peppers and most of the tomatoes.  Jay covered the red raspberries with a tarp.  I cut dill.  And while doing so came upon the first (for us to see) Swallowtail larva of the year.

The dill plant with it attached was brought into the house.    The green-red blown hydrangea blossoms were picked and hung.

The Monkshood was just coming into bloom:

Easy to see where Aconitum got its common name, eh?

This morning was like standing in front of the open freezer. The grass and gardens were covered by thick white frost. No insects singing.  Birds were, though, in a frantic “Thank God for the sun” kind of way.  Geese were landing in the newly harvested field.  We walked fast.  How did the spiders work so quickly since the field was harvested yesterday to string innumerable filaments of fine silk down low to the ground amongst the stubble?  And what happened to the spider which had strung a heavy thread of tough silk right at head height on one corner of the field?

Paper Wasp Nests

14 Sep

Isabelle discovered a large nest of yellow jacket waps in the ground while she was shoveling manure this summer.  Jay killed a colony dug in the blueberries.

 

Then this week we went down to see the gigantic nest made by the white-faced hornets in a maple tree behind Cherry’s shed. We call them white-faced hornets.  Their real name is Bald-faced hornets.

 

While gathering maple seeds from a different tree for the squirrels, behold, another large nest:

Those photos, though poor quality, are an indication of my increased lemming-like-ness.  They were taken with a phone.  And I actually was able to download the photos to the computer.

New Box

13 Sep

Banner’s old home box was well loved and used up.  Jay moved it to the large white spruce this spring because the starlings were using it as a nest box and he could shoot them coming out of it easier there.  But it had seen its best days: the roof and corners had been chewed; it no longer kept out all the wet.

So last night jay finished up a new box for the Earl and Merle Squirrel. Then we rearranged their cage.  They slept in their tissue box on top of the wood box last night.  We want to see if they will move their things into the box on their own.

Exploring

Climbing

Ooh, a hole!

Yesterday morning we took a spin together.

And this morning 11 new Monarch larvae were seen.  I walked in areas of the field I have not before.  How happy seeing each new one made me. 32 + 11 = 43.  At least.

Fall Cometh on Wet, Cold Feet

12 Sep

with flowers and Monarch larvae.  A  variegated Physostegia, also called Obedient plant because supposedly it will stay where you carefully bend its stem in a bouquet.

A few Monarch larvae:

 

It has been in the high 4o’s F the past few mornings.  Jay told me it will only get in the high 60’s later this week. The flannel sheets are back on the beds.

The Sweet Autumn  Clematis and fall Cyclamen are both in bloom also.

Earl and Merle are weaning themselves.  They only wanted milk twice today, between 4 and six ml. apiece.  They each weighed about 150 grams this morning.  About 5 ounces. They are becoming more vocal.  And have personalities.   Jay made them a box.

Late Summer Sounds

27 Aug

It is never quiet this time of year.  The insects have only a few weeks to live a whole lifetime and they are using it to the fullest.  Crickets sing non-stop.  Driving down the road you can hear different populations of insects: katydid town, tree frog alley, other high singing, whining, buzzing, noisome unknowns.

There are fewer birds singing–no dawn choruses anymore.  Now there are scolding parent birds: the robins, the house wren, the red-tail hawk.  The crows still harass the owls occasionally in the mornings.  The sapsucker occasionally flits across singing about the sap in the mountain ash.

We wake up and go to sleep and live the days to the short-lived strong-voiced chorus of insects.  An occasional coyote song.  And at night the comforting high, thin song of my blood accompanied by the deep pulse of my heart joins the insects singing in my ears as I fall asleep.

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