Saturday, June 20, 2015

Year of the Cicada

This is the year for Brood XXIII periodical cicada which emerge every 13 years...genus Magicicada. Shown above are the empty nymph exoskeleton on a burr oak.

 I rather enjoy the sound of the annual cicadas...particularly in the morning. On the other hand....the periodical cicadas....their deafening and never ending buzz can be unnerving.

After slicing open a small tree twig with her ovipositor, the female cicada lays her eggs in the open wound. The shear quantity of egg deposit sites will result in some damage to the outer small, thin branches of the trees. Over the summer, I watched a rather large pin oak, drop a good number of twigs. Very young trees can receive significant damage as happened to an apple seedling that I had planted last year.

Shown below is the emergence range of Brood XXIII for 2015.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

First Sign of Scarback

Just a place to document the first sighting of Old Scarback...our long-lived eastern box turtle.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Small Hornet's Nest

This is the start of a hornet's nest on the light fixture at our front door. It is likely a bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespata maculata)....also known as an "arial yellowjacket"...though I did not wait around to see exactly who showed up. This home was removed for the safety of those that dwell in the home to which it is attached.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fence Lizard Part Deux

A month after seeing that early fence lizard, this one was seen sunning itself on the brick on the house. This one was closer to average size.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Early Fence Lizard

This was the earliest that I have ever observed a fence lizard. Also, one of the largest. A light coating of mud obscured its already subdued markings. It was lethargically warming its blood in the spring sunshine and not a bit interested in budging.