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Turns out there's some nice fall color a short walk from the front door.

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Until the drought killed them, our nasturtiums were a food source for many. This bejeweled true bug (hemiptera) is unidentifiable, but was probably drinking plant juice.

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Likewise these candy-stripe leafhoppers were using their beak-like mouthparts to jab holes in the plant and sip its fluid.

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And then underneath the leaves these black aphids were also settled in to drink.

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Enter the cavalry: ladybeetle larvae specialize on soft-bodied plant-feeders like aphids.

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Off they go to eat some aphids--ultimately the plant succumbed to the combined stress of drought and bugs, but it was fun to record the events.
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These little black aphids are feeding on our nasturtiums. I was aiming to get a good sharp view of them and ended up with something softer and more impressionistic.

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A common grackle caught and killed a fledgling house sparrow, brought it to our yard to dismember and feed it to its own chick.
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She's eating something! (probably a small fly that got trapped in her web)

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Leucauge venusta are super common around suburban yards, but so beautiful they deserve a close look.

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Green, yellow, black, orange, silver...
They are adapted to forest edges, a habitat that humans replicate throughout our parks, yards, and gardens.

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They make wonderful neighbors, hanging around the edges of trees and shrubs, taking extra flying insects (there are always extras).
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First, right up against the back of the house next to our compost, the magic guardian of the compost. Only the bravest and cleverest of mice may get by the guardian. This was the third time I saw it in the course of the day, but the only halfway decent photo. If you follow Alexis on social media you may have seen me holding it--it never tried to bite, it just thoroughly coated me with its stink gland.

Read more... )
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Last weekend, while everywhere between DC and NY was getting whomped with 2 feet of snow, we got a steady but light event. I went out at twilight because the light looked weird and I liked it.

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This snowy swamp is a retaining pond for road runoff.

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Looking up into our neighborhood from the main road.

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My dad is one of Charlie's most favoritest people. I refer to him as "Poppa Doc (papa doc?)", the name that my brother's children called him when they were younger, and Charlie knows who I'm talking about.
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And sometimes Charlie
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The funnest thing is when Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross are in the exact same position.
Read more... )
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Jim surprised me by going belly-up for Diana Ross. This is how he usually greets Maggie, as an appeasement gesture.

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Alexis looks fetching in her Jonathan Coulton t-shirt and Fiona Apple sun hat.

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Fiona is shocked and honored that Jim is approaching her with his ball--he tends to bark at new people until he likes them. This is good stuff, him asking her to play with him.
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This is just a couple pictures from our zookeeper meetup last week.

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We've had these "star and moom" floating candles since before we moved in. This was a perfect place for them.

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This is a candle that's supposed to keep mosquitoes away. It seems to have attracted and entombed at least one crane fly.

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Flames at the end of the night, casting a soft glow on the last few guests.
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This blog's biggest fan was in town this past weekend, and really wanted to be in a 3:00 snapshot. How could I say no?
Read more... )
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Here's a shot of a beautiful bald woman and the pudgy spider-lover she tolerates, taken at 3:00 p.m. for some reason.

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