Jun 02

A Bit of Fun

Posted: under Uncategorized.
Tags: ,  June 2nd, 2017

There’s a site that will generate imaginary moths if you retweet its Twitter account (@mothgenerator) and tweet you an image of the same.   I thought it would be fun to see if I could get it to do an 80-acres moth.  And it did.   Turns out whatever message you send that account turns into a moth named whatever you sent, with “the” in front and “moth” after.  Here’s the 80 acres moth

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May 31

New (so far) Species

Posted: under Officialdom, Water, Wildlife.
Tags: , , ,  May 31st, 2017

When talking about a new species, I need to make clear that it can have different meanings here:  1) a species we have not previously identified on the 80 acres (could be IDed or not, photographed or not…just something new seen), 2) a species not previously identified here which is documented, IDed, and added to the list, 3) a species none of the experts consulted can identify and consider a new (to science) species.

So what have we had this spring in any of the categories?   First, a planthopper that hasn’t been IDed yet…it’s been photographed, but not as well as I’d like.  It was on the kitchen windowscreen one late afternoon, and the next day (when the light might’ve been better) it wasn’t.

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May 10

It’s All Wildlife…

Posted: under Activities, photography, Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,  May 10th, 2010

Because of time constraints (working on copy edits for new book) and weather, the brief walk on the land Saturday didn’t produce any usable bird pictures and I didn’t see any snakes or lizards, but I did see wildlife, large and small:

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Apr 30

Crane Flies

Posted: under Activities, photography, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , ,  April 30th, 2010

Crane flies are odd insects with long legs relative to their body size–they’re mistaken sometimes for giant mosquitos, which they aren’t.   For such delicate looking creatures, they’re important in the ecosystem:  crane fly larvae feed mostly on fungi, decaying organic matters, sometimes on plant rootlets–some are predatory.   The adults are food for birds.  There are roughly 1600 species of these guys north of Mexico.

Here’s one of our craneflies I’ve seen just about every year:

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Jan 17

First 2010 Rain, New Species

Posted: under Activities, Land, Plantlife, Water, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , , ,  January 17th, 2010

We’d had some sprinkles, but the first real rain came Thursday & Friday, about two inches, and set the secondary drainage flowing across the near meadow again.  Creek was up and a little turbid, but the flow in the grass was crystal clear.   Today, I finally photographed a common (supposedly) species of butterfly around here, which I’d never been able to catch in the lens.

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Nov 06

Census: New Species

Posted: under Activities, photography, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , , ,  November 6th, 2009

Our on the land with visitors yesterday, I spotted a new fly (new to me):


That spotted abdomen was very obvious with the naked eye.   It’s a similar pattern to a spotted jumping spider we have (also white spots on black) and until I saw it fly I was thinking  “There’s another P. audax, never saw one on heath aster before.”   The “face” and antennae are the same golden color as the wings.

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Jun 19

New Species

Posted: under Activities, photography, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , ,  June 19th, 2009

I mentioned back a few posts that May 23, the day of the weird beetle in the bathroom, had also produced a weird moth in the kitchen…and I forgot, until I was at BugGuide looking at some of my images to see if something “new” was really “old”, that May 23, also produced the pretty spot-winged fly on the skeleton plant flower.

Now that I have an ID for the moth, a Yellow-fringed Dolichomia, Dolichomia olinalis I think, though mine was larger than the typical size listed.


The contrast of the distinctly rosy-brown, glossy wings with their subtle patterns and the dull-yellow fringe is beautiful.    The larvae feed on oak trees, and since we have oak trees of several species, I’m fairly confident this moth is reproducing here.

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Jun 09

Another New Species

Posted: under photography, Wildlife.
Tags: , ,  June 9th, 2009

Actually not new today, but on May 23–which may, if the moth gets IDed soon, become a double-dot-day of two new species.

Anyway, meet Phileurus valgus L.


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May 23

Purple, Yellow, and White

Posted: under photography, Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: , , ,  May 23rd, 2009

The half-inch of rain last weekend brought out a few more flowers, and today the theme was purple and yellow.  The most intense yellow belonged to the claspleaf coneflowers, damp-ground lovers, here in the swale below the #3 gabion.  The lacy white in the foreground bears the unlovely name of beggars’ ticks, for its adherent seeds.


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