Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Deer Fly and Another Geometer Moth

click on any photo to view full size

I have photographed these two insects but the photos aren't of the quality I would post on my Photo A Day blog. This butterfly is interesting because it is one of two species but we won't be able to tell which. It is genus Rheumoptera but the species is either hastata or subhastata. You can only tell the difference by looking at the genitalia. Which I did not do. Which ever species it is, this is another geometer moth. All of the geometers I have photographed (here and here) are brown with very narrow bands across the wings, so this moth is very interesting. Butterflies and Moths of North America has no substantial information on these moths except that the subhastata species host is alder and no host is given for the hastata species.

Genus Rheumaptera; hastata/subhastata species group

Chrysops ater

This is a deer fly. In June these flies were everywhere and biting us everywhere. For some reason, they seem to bite my ankles more than anything else. But despite their nastiness, they are pretty with black and clear banded wings. Their faces are fascinating, too, with horizontal orange/red bands. I managed to capture a poor image of this face (see the last photo below and be sure to click on it to view it large) but you can see a better photo of a face at bugguide.net.

Here you can faintly see the banded abdomen of the deer fly.

At this link at bugguide.net you will see four views of Chrysops that they say will enable you to identify any deer fly in North America.

Deer fly face and stinger

Happy bug hunting!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Back in Vermont Again

My new photoshopped plates — no more vanity plates.

How Nate (Mostly) and I (A Bit) Prevented a Forest Fire

The burned door: the origin of the fire

John has spent a month away from home working in Connecticut and New Hampshire. Way back in June, just after Arthur's visit, he left for the first out of state job at 3 PM. I then began some chores and Nate went out to mow.  I happened to glance out the kitchen window and noticed smoke coming from the hill up the mountain side. I was curious about the smoke but thought there was no problem. It was white smoke — wood smoke. I thought perhaps John had gotten a fire permit and either had not told me or had told me and I had forgotten. Nate, I learned later,  thought the same thing as he mowed and observed the smoke. John is so safe with fire that we did not worry. But ten minutes later as I looked out again, I saw flames licking at a sapling on the hillside. And suddenly I saw Nate running as hard as he could up the hill to the fire. Then I knew we had a problem. The smoke was now black and that is a very bad sign. I ran out and by the time I reached the fire, Nate had pulled it apart with his hands and was beating the flames with his shirt. I ran back to the house and filled a five gallon bucket with water from the hose (which wouldn't reach) and dragged it up to Nate who used it to safely and completely douse the flames. After thanking Nate for saving the mountain from a forest fire, we reconstructed what happened.

The burned sawhorses.
We had a spare insulated exterior door with a large window in it lying on sawhorses on plywood back there on the hill. There was black sheathing under the door. The intense sunlight (yes, it gets intense here at times!) shining through the glass in the door created enough heat to ignite the black sheathing, which ignited the plywood. The sapling was never damaged by the flames that I saw from the window. But some of John's lumber (and all the sheathing and the entire door) were destroyed. We were very fortunate at the outcome and learned that you can never, ever let your guard down about fire. We had been careless when we piled up stuff out back. I am so thankful that we were home when it happened. I am doubly grateful that Nate was here to put the fire out quickly and effectively. He knew exactly what to do.


Book Review: Following the Water

I have found a new naturalist to read: David Carroll of Warner, NH. Following the Water is a journal of Carroll's observations and meditations as he follows the water in his bog from ice out until the first snow in the autumn. It is a fascinating account. This book is where I first learned of the predilection of otters to mutilate turtles while the turtles hibernate in winter. I first learned of canary grass here, which is on the invasive species watch list in Vermont. I learned that in New Hampshire, a blow down is called a wind throw, and a root ball is called a root hold. 

This is a quiet, lovely book that saddened me as Carroll explained the importance of unrestricted habitat for wildlife. In northern Vermont our forests are so large that we lose sight of the broken habitat in the lower forty-five states. Life needs unrestricted access to all types of habitat to survive and granting wildlife a few acres in the midst of a condo development doesn't cut it for successful living.  Carroll uses personal anecdotes to demonstrate this need for space and he is very effective. 

I have written about this book twice already: my turtle and otter post and my ebony jewelwing post. Carroll is able to capture the essence of animals in his writing. But I have to admit that Carroll was a challenge for me as a reader. He sent me to the dictionary several times for carr, scroll pond, procrypsis, coign, spates and zugunruhe. I leave you to find the definition of these words yourself.  

I have an agenda for next spring: I want to find a Blanding's turtle (or any turtle, for that matter, here in the Kingdom), and I want to follow the life cycle of mayflies. Just as when I read Bernd Heinrich, I want to photograph what I read about in these books. I have already bought another of Carroll's books: Swampwalker's Journal. Buy Following the Water. It's a book to reference often in the future.

Friday, July 23, 2010

LOL Cat Bible: Lectionary Readings for Sunday, July 25, 2010

 Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hosea 1:2-10
Psalm 85     
Genesis 18:20-32
Psalm 138     
Colossians 2:6-15, (16-19)     
Luke 11:1-13

Hosea 1:2-10

2 Teh begininz ov dis wurd (bi cieling cat). He sedz sumtihn liek, Go getz a whyfe ov whoredumz an spawnz sum litle whoredumz babiez: fur teh land cummitz big whoredumz. Endz ov tranzmishun.
3 So he goez an get hotz chik namez Gomer an dey hadz HRBLE GOEZ WHERE?? wifoutz fun leik buttsecks or bluwjobz cuz taht stil wuznt inventedz yet. Dey spawnedz onez son.
4 Ceiling Cat goez speackz to Hosea ugainz an sez namez y00r ugliez sun Jezreel so i canz avenge sum blud uponz teh howse ov Jehu an stopz all teh kingdumz stuvfz in Isrealz.
5 An itz gunna pass daht day, daht i willz breakz sum bowz ov isreal an stuvfz, in teh valley ov y00r ugly sonz, Jezreel.
6 Tehn daht hot chikz spawnedz moor, poppinz outz a grlie. An Ceiling Cat gitz awl bossiez uhgainz an sez to namez it Loruhamah, cuz Ceiling Cat will no longr have pitteh nr luv 4 teh houze ov Israel or 4give themz.
7 But Ceiling Cat sez he gunna havez mersiez on Judah cuz dey dont masturbait an havz himz fur onlee gawdz. an Ceiling Cat iz gunna save tehm.
8 Wen she hadded weand Lo-ruhamah, she gotz preggerz an spawnez a son.
9 Ceiling Cat wantz ta namez mo0r kittehs so Ceiling Cat sez namez it Lo-ammi becuz ur teh n00bz n' i am notz st00pidz. Youz broke teh Mosaic Covenant, n00bs!
10 Cieling Cat alzo sez daht teh numbrz ov Jew childrnz wilz be m3ga maniez liek graenz ov sandz on beech an daht Jew childz are hiz ppl becuz he not st00pidz.

Basement cat is not amused by your attempt at a Schrodinger

Psalm 85
Singy Tiem fo tha Sunz Uv Korah

1 Ceiling Cat, yur realeh kewl. Srsly. Yu maek no moar slaev kittehs.
2 Yu maek all uv invisible errors betta an stuff.
3 Yu no maek angwy tiem no moars. Dats kewl, Iz no lieks dat stuffs.
4 Plz dun be mad no moars.
5 Ceiling Cat be mad at us tiems infinity? NOES!!1! Evn our littlest kitteh sunz?
6 Mehbey yu maek it all betta, an we maek funneh sownds at yu?
7 Haev merceh on us!!1!
8 Iz be good listender. Ceiling Cat talkz peece an stuffs an blah blah 2 his fello kittehs. Dey dun need 2 be bad kittehs after dat.
9 We be fraid uv Ceiling cat. Sow we gets gud stuffs! His awesum stuff culd maek dis place bettr.
10 Merceh and troofs be wif each uthur. Gud stuffs and peece maek out.
11 Troofs will pounce frum Urfs; gud stuffs come frum ceiling.
12 Ceiling Cat giveded us teh gud stuffs, an we maek it gud on Urfs.
13 Gud stuffs maek us liek Ceiling Cat.

Itteh bitteh basement cat  training committeh

Genesis 18:20-32
Abraham Askx Ceiling Cat tu Be Naice tu Sodom

16 An teh three men wur liek "kthxbai" and Abraham went wif dem
17 Ceiling Cat sed "shud I tel Abraham wut I is gon do,
18 Cuz he iz cool, and he iz will be graet nayshun, and all nayshuns ar gonna can has cheezburger cuz of him?
19 Cuz I choes him so he an his kittehs cud say liek 'Ceiling Cat ar cool, srsly'"
20 So Ceiling Cat sed "Sodom an Gomorrah sux, liek, srsly"
21 "I is gonna can has chek it out an see"
22 So teh men went tu Sodom, but Ceiling Cat wuz stil wif Abraham, k?
23 Abraham wuz liek "omg, u srsly gonna kill teh gud peepul wif teh bad peepul!?"
24 "Wut if thers fifteh gud peepul? U stil gonna pwn it?"
25 "WEAK"
26 So Ceiling Cat waz liek "k if iz fifteh peepul i wont pwn it"
27 An Abraham waz liek "omg, i sux, but
28 wut if has fortee fy-uv good peepul?" an Ceiling Cat sed "i will not has pwn if has forteh-fiev"
29 An Abraham was liek "wut bout forteh?" an Ceiling Cat sed "i wont if has forteh"
30 An Abraham sed "k, dont b mad or shred meh, but wut if has thurteh?" an Ceiling Cat sed "i wont if has thurteh"
31 An Abraham sed "OMG, but wut if has twunteh?" and Ceiling Cat sed "i wont if has twunteh"
32 An Abraham sed "k, dont b mad, thsi is last tiem I prawmiss, but wut if has ten?" and Ceiling Cat sed "i wont if has ten. srsly"
33 An tehy wur both liek "kthxbai"

The battle for your soul  passes to the next generation

Psalm 138

1 O hai! Ceiling Cat, hai lotz an lotz; hai evn afront of othr Ceiling d00dz
2 I iz all abowt rollin ovah in front of yur howse an sayn ur naem cuz yu are sweet an yur naem iz kewl!
3 When I sed yur naem, yu can haz anser; Iz can not haz scaredz
4 Yu should haz othr d00dz say yur naem. srsly, Ceiling Cat, cuz them hearded yu purringz
5 Othr d00dz shud singz abowt yur stuffz; cuz yu are kewl!
6 Ceiling Cat iz real hie up and him lookz at short peepel; but him noes them d00dz that not haz cheezburger evn wen them iz liek a millyun mielz away
7 I can haz lotz of troubel, but yu cleen my littah boxz, yu giev teh fingah to d00dz dat no liek me, and yur riet paw is teh kewlest
8 Ceiling Cat will alwaez cleen my littah boxz; Ceiling Cat, yur kewlness will last long tiem. Srsly. Plz dont forget to cleen mah littah boxz an giv me cheezburger an stuff.

Your soul is mine...  Basement cat does not do pink!

Colossians 2:6-15, (16-19)

6 An yuz sniffnz Ceiling Cat da d00d, inniz littrboxz:
7 Snuggld himz, sniffnz himz, bin teached, happy cats.
8 Watchit an lookey out good lookin catz, fur da peeps, fur da cowz, nawt Ceiling Cat.
9 Fur crashpadz anna lazy fat uv da Sky Catz.
10 Anna youze dun, big d00dz, srsly:
11 Youze circumcised da circumcision wit no paws, nawt poopin onna littrboxz orda foreskin of da circumcisized Sky Catz:
12 Dugn burried, youze no Ceiling Cats, make himma zombie feller.
13 Youze, no Invisible Errorz annan uncircumcision of your penis tipz, him fast, sez Yo! yer ok nowz, meow.
14 Youze ok, I dinna no, I stold it, srsly stuk it to littrboxz wit nailz;
15 An bummd da d00dz, dere dey iz, meows wit glee.
16 No peeps be judge judy bouts kibble, ora milk, no dissn stuffz, or moonz, whateva:
17 Dat stuffz gunna be; lookey Sky Catz, srsly.
18 No peepz gunna fool yuz, lyahz anna tards, sup youze stuffy d00dz,
19 Iz gotz splittn headake, Iz hungover anna sor, anna dum, anna seein Ceiling Cats.

Ceiling cat  must remember not to lean so far out...

Luke 11:1-13 
Jebus teeched bowt prair

1 It wus a lil bit tiem goen bai when Jebus wus tawkin to da Ceiling Cat in him prayerz, wun of him folwerz askeded him: teachez us all to prai, like taht John de Bapdiss d00d teaches him follwerz.
2 Jebus sed to dem: you prayz, sai: Praise Ceiling Cat, who be watchin yu, may him has a cheezburger.
3 Giv us dis day our dalee cheezburger.
4 And furgiv us for makin yu a cookie, but eateding it. An leed us not into teh showa, but deliver us from teh wawter.
5 So he sez 2 dem: if u haz fren an u visitz him in teh middle of teh nite and sez 2 him: d00d, i needz sum cookiez
6 cuz i haz a fren cumming ovr an i don't haz any cookiez to giv him.
7 An teh frist kitteh sez: Iz sleeping, teh kittnz r sleeping, evrbdi iz sleeping, go wai! NO COOKIEZ 4 U!!11!!
8 But fren kitteh keepz scratchn n teh dr and frist kitteh givez fren kitteh teh cookiez 2 make him go wai.
9 So Iz tell u dis srsly - u wan sumting? u ask. u l00k 4 sumting, u gonna find it. Scratch n teh dr and it openz 4 u - srsly.
10 Kittehz ask an getz, kittehz lookz an findz, kittehz scratch n teh dr, it openz. SRSLY.
11 Lissen up kittnz: u wantz cookiez 4m ur urths kitteh daddee, duz ur urths kitteh daddee giv u dog f00d? or ifn u wantz tuna, nastee stuffz?
12 Or ifn u wantz cheezbrgr, duz ur urths kitteh daddee giv u pewpiez?
13 Srsly - ifn u can givz gud stuffz 2 ur kittnz an u iz jus urths kittehz, donchu tihnk taht Ceiling Cat - himz ur Ceiling Kitteh Daddee - givz u evn bettr cheezbrgrs??

Weekend Cat Events
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Drive on Wheeler Mountain Road

Trail sign near Wheeler Pond
Click on any photo to view it full size in new window.

 In June, I took John down Wheeler Mountain Road from Barton to Westmore. There is a lot to see there and there are a lot of trails that begin there. The week following this drive, John began a three week job in Connecticut followed by a week job in New Hampshire, so this was our quiet alone time before he left. He's back now and we are ready to explore the trails that you see on this sign.

The Green Mountain Club access road is blocked.
But nobody is allowed on the road.
A tattered Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly  (Papilio glaucus)
A beaver lodge across Wheeler Pond
An unidentified dragonfly
A solitary loon was on the pond
A green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) was guarding her nest near shore.
Moose Mountain reflected in Wheeler Pond
Wheeler Pond with Moose Mountain
White admiral butterfly  (Limenitis arthemis arthemis)
A hidden,  secretive bog
A water strider in a drying brook (order Hemiptera)
And at the other end of the road: Wheeler Mountain


Monday, July 19, 2010

Tractor Chicken Again!

More excavation . . . more excited chickens.
(Click on any photo to view it full size.)
They run as fast as they can to avoid the dirt!
They skid and lose their footing!
But they manage to get away safely.
But do you notice that they don't go too far away?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

LOL Cat Bible: Lectionary Readings for Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Amos 8:1-12
Psalm 52     
Genesis 18:1-10a
Psalm 15
Colossians 1:15-28     
Luke 10:38-42

Amos 8:1-12 
A Froot Baskit

1 Ceiling Cat showded me a baskit of riep froot.
2 "What u seez, Amos?" he askted.
 "A baskit of riep froot, duh," I sedded.
 Den Ceiling Cat wuz liek, "Teh tiem is riep for mai peeplz in Israel. I iz not lettin dem off teh hook enni longr."
3 Ceiling Cat sez "Peepl will stop singin in teh templ an crai insted. Dere wil be bodiz all ovr teh plaec LOL!"
4  Lissin up, u who iz steppin on teh poor peeplz
  an killin dem too,
5  u iz all liek
  "Izint it tiem yet
  for us to sell cookies?
  rippin peeplz off
  an charjin too much?
7 Ceiling Cat wuz liek "I iz not goin to forget dat enni tiem soon.
8  Teh whoal countri wil shaek bcz of dis
  an evribodi in it wil be sad.
  Teh whoal countri wil riez up liek a rivr floodin
  an get stirrded up an den sink LOL."

9  "When dat day comz," sez Ceiling Cat,
  "I wil maek teh sun go down at noon
  an teh wrld wil be dark.
10  U wil be cryin insted of partyin
  an cryin insted of singin.
  I wil maek u waer a papr bag
  an shaev ur hedz LOL.
  It wil be az bad az losin ur onli kittn
  an evn teh end of teh day wil suk.
11  "Teh tiem iz comin," sez Ceiling Cat,
  "when i wil maek evribodi hungri -
  not hungri for cookies or thrsti for milkz,
  but hungri to heer mai wurdz.
12  Peepl wil go all ovr teh plaec
  from wun end of teh countri to teh othr,
  lookin for teh wrdz of Ceiling Cat,
  but dey woant find dem LOL.

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Psalm 52

1 Lyk WHY do u purr cuz of teh ebil, u mighty kitteh? Why do u purr all day long--teh disgrace of teh eyez of teh Ceiling Cat u is nao!
2 U tongue, it be plotting teh destructionz; it be like a sharpened kitteh claw, u who be plotting to steal teh bukkitz.
3 U luv teh pooches (EBIL, lol) an not teh kittehs (GUD, plz); fakerz an not saying teh truthz.
4 In ur kitteh haertz, u has luv for teh ebilness. O, u has a bad tongue!
5 U no Ceiling Cat be punting u down to ruin; he will use u as teh baad scratching post an he will taer u from ur litterbox an he will put u in teh lair of teh pooches!
6 Teh gud kittehs will see an be afraid! They will laff in at him, seyz,
7 "Here be teh kitteh who think he is teh l33t--too l33t for teh Ceiling Cat; he lyked his catnip better than teh Ceiling Cat! He be scratching others an getting strongerz."
8 But I be lyke a blooburry bush an I be flourishin' in teh ceiling fan of teh Ceiling Cat; I putz mah trust in Ceiling Cat's unfailing luvz an I purr his praises forevr and evr.
9 I lift up mah catnip an praizes forevr for wut u has doen for mah life! In ur name I be hoping an I will praize u in teh presence of teh holi kittehs!

Basement Cat - now available in travel size.
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Genesis 18:1-10a
Sarah lolz, Abraham pesturs Ceiling Cat

1 Nao Abraham wuz rlxn an Ceiling Cat wuz liek "O hai"
2 But wehn Abraham wuz liek "o hai" ther wuz three menz an he wuz leik "WTF" an he bowded hisself
3 He sed "srsly, hang out
4 Yu can has watur an rest
5 An yu can haz cheezburgr." An three guise sed "we can has!"
6 so Abraham went tu Sarah an wuz liek "Maek sum cookehs an dont eated dem!"
7 An he went tu hiz moocows an maed teh best wun teh ded for tu eet
8 An he sed tu three men "heer, yu can has"
9 An tehy wur liek "Whar yur woomun?" An Abraham sed "ovar thar"
10 An sed "Srsly, wehn we coem bak she gonna be teh preggers" An Sarah herd dis11 BTW: Abraham an Sarah wur teh OLD, srsly, an Sarah wuz tu old 4 teh baybees.12 An Sarah lold an wuz liek "No wai! We ar teh old!"

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Psalm 15

1 Oh, hai, Ceiling Cat, hu gona curl up in ur tabby-nackle?
Hu gona pet ur fuzy bely?

2 Teh d00dz taht stan up strate,
flip cheezburgrz 4 minimum w/out complanez,
n no lyez.

3 Teh d00dz taht not trols,
not pulz ur leg, not DOS atak ppl,
n not get retardid.

4 Teh d00dz taht no a trol wehn tehy seez him;
but greetz 2 teh d00dz taht is chiken o Ceiling cat.
Oh, n no politishuns.

5 N DO NOT WANT d00dz taht lone u mony for cheezburgr
but wan interist on toozday.
U r so pwnd!

Basement Cat Jr - he haz minions too
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Colossians 1:15-28    
The Supremacy of Christ

15 'e is de imigz ov da invisibl Ceiling Cat, da furst cat ovr dem rest.
16 4 he maded all stufz: stufz in da hoodz ov da Ceiling Cat 'n stufz on dis planit, visibl an' invisibl, if they iz seatz ov base or bossmen or bossmen ov bossmen, he maded dem 4 himselfz!
17 He iz wat iz befor all stufz, and he maik all stufz b.
18 He iz da 'ead ov da body, da churchz!: he is da begining and teh furst cat from da zombicatz, so whatevir iz he iz bossman!
19 4 de Ceiling Cat was hapi to haf everithin in 'im,
20 'n be also da settlimnt-maker ov all playces, even if iz in da hoodz ov da Ceiling Cat or on dis planit, so he go to da X and bleedz.
21 So, sumtimez befor knauw, u was aliented fron da Ceiling Cat, 'n was enemiez in ur mindz 'cos u waz evyl!
22 Buh knauw, he meik settlimnt wif u by Christz bodi dieing to givez u howly in hez sight, no dirtz and bad wurdz -
23 if u continus in ur belieffs, rly 'n rly, no thoughz awai fron da hopez in da gospil. Dis is da gospil u haz heardid 'bout 'n iz toldz ta all catz undir da hoodz ov da Ceiling Cat, and ov whicz I'z, Paul, me iz a servants ov.
Paul's Labor for the Church
24 So, maik funney (mabbe cheezburgr 2?) 4 wat iz suffrd 4 youze, 'n I'z filling me up wif wat mising wif Christz painz and sufferingz, 4 hiz bodi which b da churzch!
25 I'z am servants 'cos teh Ceiling Cat azk mi, so I givez u da wurdz ov teh Ceiling Cat, srsly! -
26 da hidn sicrits ov loong timez, knaw givin ta All Saints.
27 Ta dem teh Ceiling Cat has pick'd to givez amongk dem non-Jebz dem glawriaws ritches ov dis misteree, and dat is da Christ in you'ze, da hawp ov glawry!
28 W sez abaot 'im veri importanz, teling allz, all ov all ov thingink, 'n stufz, so w b purrfec in Christ.

New basement cat tactics - now offering cuddly  toys in return for souls...
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Luke 10:38-42
Martha an Mary

38 Den Jebus goed to howse of too sistahs namd Martha an Mary.
39 An Mary sitted an lissend to Jebus teech.
40 But Martha wuz buzi makin cookiz an cheezburgrs. An her sez "Jebus, dis hard werk! Tel Mary coem to kichen an halp me!"
41 Jebus sez "Martha, chillz! LOL!
42 Lissen iz moar betterer dan werk. We ordrz pizza or soemthink."

Weekend Cat Events
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#267 Jul 16-18 In honor of Sher: Othello at Paulchens FoodBlog?!
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# Edition 118 | Aug 01, 2010 Miz Mog
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blogging Break

Zorro cools off in the evening during the heat wave.
Evidently, I've been taking a blogging break. I didn't intend to. Last week's heat wave forced a break (it was too hot for me or the computer) and I was going to resume immediately after the weather cooled. But things have become so awesomely busy that I haven't been able to edit photos or write. I'm going away, today, for a few days to join my husband, so there will be no blogging for me until next week. I hope you all have the best weekend ever and that the weather is perfect!