Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I'm finally up and running

Well it took me longer than I thought but here it new blog.

I am backdating all the entries to when I wrote them. Back here in the States my nature watching has some similarities to being in Iraq. Its mostly opportunistic, half an hour here and there. As Major Ed in Iraq commented to me, the situation is very similar to the Doctor in the movie Master and Commander. So close to so many wonders but duty calls.

A short walk in my woods netted me the first deer tick of the season (I found it crawling on my kitchen table after I came inside). Some of our friends who have a Daschund have been finding loads of them since February. The dog is a regular tick vacuum cleaner.

We are on the cusp of spring. The Eastern Phoebe was hanging out in the trees near my deck, the Honeysuckle, Barberry and Russian Olives have tiny green leaves peeking out and I've seen lots of insects in the last few warm days. The Witch Hazel continues to flower in my back woods. I some some small tortricid moths flying around the flowers yesterday evening. The Dark-eyed Juncos are still hanging around the feeder but they'll soon be moving to higher ground to nest.

At work in Farmington I saw a Twice Stabbed Ladybug (Chilocorus stigma) resting in the sunshine on the side of a Red Maple. At home my son caught a Lampyrid beetle (Firefly family) I think it is one of the flashless fireflies possibly the genus Lucidota. I usually see many of these little beetles in the early spring congregated on the trunks of trees. If you pick them up they emit milky white liquid in little drops. I've tasted it and me no like, obviously chemical warfare against predators.

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