Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

Mystery Solved

The more I researched this, the more confused I became.

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I found this web stretched in the crotch of a dead pear tree in our backyard. The day was cloudy. I had no idea what the “line” was in the center of the web.

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Then I found a smaller web in a clump of sedum. Obviously, it had the same mystery in the center of it too.

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This was an even closer shot of the center of the web. The silk was so thin it was hard to see.

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I didn’t see a spider in any of these webs until today. The bluish shape on the right, near the center of the picture moved. The spider changed its position in the web. It went out from the center and quickly back. I started taking pictures. It was almost impossible to get a focused picture with the small size of the web. My camera kept focusing on the background instead.

I found a position with the leaves behind and showing the spider. At least I solved the mystery of the spider’s location, and that the other shapes are the spider’s egg cases.

P.S. I have found many of these spider and egg cases scattered around the yard.

 

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A Pruner, a Girdler and a ?

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We have a dawn redwood tree in our backyard

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that my mother gave us years ago. These pictures were taken the end of November.

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I found several twigs on the ground under the tree.

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What “cut” the twigs from the tree, and how did they do it to make the end look like that?

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There are tree pruner insects. A full-grown twig pruner chews through the wood from the inside out. This leaves a smooth cut on the inside of the twig. The ragged edge results from the twig breaking.

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This broken twig resulted from a female tree girdler chewing a v-shaped groove around the twig. The small larva overwintered in the fallen twig.

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The ones off the redwood tree don’t look like the work of a girdler or a pruner.

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It will probably remain a mystery … unless I find another clue in the future.

 

 

Assassin Bugs

I went out in the middle of November to look for lichens to photograph and found this young bug on the bark of an oak tree.

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 It was a half-inch long at most. My first thought was an assassin bug because of its long beak.

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I started through my files of insect pictures and found this picture. It too has the long beak.

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Wheel bugs are an assassin bug too.

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They use their long beak to inject their prey with venom.

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I still have no definitive answer as to the species of assassin bug in the first picture.

The mystery continues.

A Chrysalis

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I found this chrysalis on the side of our garbage container on August 10th. Its shape and design would make such a nice pendant for a necklace. I admired it every time I passed. Then, it was an empty shell on the 16th.

Its identity remained a mystery … until this afternoon. I just found out it’s the chrysalis of a hackberry emperor butterfly.

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We have several hackberry trees in our yard.

Hackberry butterflies lay their eggs in hackberry trees, and the caterpillars feed on the leaves. The adult butterflies prefer feeding on rotting fruit. They also visit moist places, fermenting fruit, tree sap, and animal droppings.

Gloomy Day Mystery

Sunday ended up being another cloud-covered day, with intermittent drizzle. I decided to go for a hike and ended up being the only one at Jones Lake.

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I followed the lake trail. Rose hips on the swamp roses added a little color to the gloomy day.

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 The clouds continued to increase during my hike, which changed the appearance of the rose hips on my way back to the truck.

It always amazes me how drops of water invert the view.

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 Here is my real mystery. I can’t explain why the light bands are reflected vertically on the water. Where did they come from?  The tree-covered hill would have a more solid appearance. The clouds wouldn’t be in bands either. I don’t see how my height compared to the water level would make a difference. Maybe there’s a scientific reason that would be way over my head.

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On darn, (being facetious) guess I’ll just have to come back to see if these reflections are still here.

A Mystery Mushroom

 I just had to go on a hike and ended up returning to the site of the the mystery mushrooms I found the end of January and recently blogged.

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The picture shows that these are shelf mushrooms and that they do curl upward as they age.

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These few had just started curling.

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They were scattered along a log approximately 9-10 feet long.

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The top surfaces looked slightly velvety.

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I plan to study the few mushroom books, hoping to identify them this time.

No luck.