Saturday, June 16, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
And at the same time the Iris is blooming, the male green frogs begin to call near the base of the plants, staking out territories, trying to attract females into their space.
This is a male, and is distinguished from the females by the eardrum being bigger than its eye. The female's ear drum is smaller.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
But it turns out that it is not a slime mold at all, or even in the fungi family. Science has reclassified it as an Amoebozoa. Kind of like the very old scary movie "The Blob." But this one is real, and it eats micro-organisms in dead plant material, helping with decomposition.
Writing this blog gets me to double check my facts, and also learn new things. For many years I have been telling folks about slime molds, thinking this was one.
What is great about science is that it keeps checking on itself, and when a mistake is discovered, it corrects itself, and everyone moves on with the new knowledge. Wouldn't it be great if that worked for other life issues as easily?
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
But after their years in the water, about mid May, the older ones leave the water and begin to wander looking for a safe place to hide while changing into an adult insect.
The one in this picture is 4 inches long and was hard to get to sit still for a photograph. They move constantly, and bite hard when picked up. This one was found wandering across a gas station parking lot. It crawled around the cage I put it in for a week before it curled up and lay quietly for another week under a large piece of bark on some wood chips.
It has six true legs but appendages on each segment of it's abdoman look like additional legs. They are useless as legs, though. But notice the 4 "claws" on the tail end. It uses these to thrust itself backward very quickly, much like a crayfish.
Last Friday night, after a week of quiet, it shed the black/brown larval skin and entered the pupae stage of its life.
It twists and turns as if it is having dreams of an active adult life. When I took these pictures it used its jaw and body to try to push itself back under cover. It could move quickly.
And its jaws still work and look pretty mean as can be seen in the bottom picture.