Earth-boring beetles

Earth-boring beetles

Blackburn’s Earth-boring Beetles (Geotrupes blackburnii) were out again on this cool morning. Most of the beetles (Geotrupes blackburnii) were on their backs. Waiting for it to warm up. Fungus on a downed Hackberry tree. Update: It is called carbon balls, cramp balls, or King Alfred’s cakes (Daldinia concentrica) fungus home Closer view. Sorta looks like…

Slick as snot

Slick as snot

  Slick as snot, figurative (meaning neato) and literally. Jim was pushing trees and this was left in the dirt. From a distance, I thought the white was going to be piece of pottery or glass because this was where an old house once stood. Imagine my surprise when I saw the rest of it…

The rain sky gods…

The rain sky gods…

 I think the rain sky gods were toying with us today. Not a drop here. I was surprised to see this guy in the path this afternoon. This is all I saw at first. It was about 33cm (12 inches) long. When it got tire of me, it slithered under the KR grass clump and…

Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwings

Good birds on my first walk of the day this morning. Cedar Waxwings! Also today had a bunch of Pine Siskins, robins, sapsuckers, White-crowned, Harris’, Fox, and Field Sparrows, bluebirds, blue jays, a kestrel, chickadees, phoebe, meadowlarks, Turkey Vultures, and a scolding Bewick’s Wren. The Loggerhead Shrike found a new menu item…a Praying Mantis! This…

Strange exuviae

Strange exuviae

Found this weird exuviae on a Hackberry tree attached on one end. There is an outer part that has all the black spikey things sticking out. You can pick out where the six legs would have been. The inner part mostly. Not sure what it was but for sure interesting! It was about 7mm long…

Ouch

Ouch

This little nymph, possibly a wheelbug, was crawling on my neck. I thought I had brushed it off, but a few moments later I feel this sting and there it was on my other hand. Ouch! The sting lasted about 20 minutes, but not that bad. Remember the Snailseed (Cocculus carolinus) from a couple days ago? Here…

32.6

32.6

It got down to 32.6 degrees at my house this morning. This thistle (Cirsium) rosette was lightly frosted.   This dead Post Oak (Quercus stellata) probably had tales to tell. Post Oaks live between 300 and 400 years old. A long time ago, a tree person told me a way to know if a Post…

Snailseed

Snailseed

 Do you ever wonder where some of the common names for things come from? Yellow-rumped Warbler, Red-headed Woodpecker, Shooting-star (Dodecatheon meadia) Snake Herb (Dyschoriste linearis) or Texas Bluestar (Amsonia ciliata var texana) all seem to be obvious to me, Sometimes you might think the person was crazy such as is the case for Bastard Toadflax (Comandra…

Band-winged grasshopper

Band-winged grasshopper

This band-winged grasshopper (Oedipodinae) caught my eye with yellow wing showing! Poison ivy leaf (Toxicodendron radicans) in case you were itching (groan- LOL) to see its leaflets. It is a show stopper in the fall. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker makes horizonal holes on trees. This is a Cedar Elm tree. This is a good sign that you have…

Good to know

Good to know

 When you are traipsing around on the grasslands, the woods, or most anywhere, a good thing to know is what does poison ivy look like in the winter.  You can get still get contact dermatitis even in the winter if you are allergic to the oils. And all parts of the plant have the oils….

FOS

FOS

 FOS – first of season Northern Harrier for me! Hope one sticks around this winter in our field. Last winter they were scarce in our field. Also got nice looks at a meadowlark and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  This is what is left from the mushroom that was on the dead Blackjack (Quercus marilandica) log a few…