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an earwig in its wisdom
wields its pincers toward
the folly of the world

 

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Have you seen the petition for saving 213 acres of mature forest in our neighboring watershed?  

Anyone can still read and sign the petition here

… and learn even more at Save Marple Greenspace.

 

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 Still and cold …

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 Little Crum Creek flows on

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For a few weeks in spring, some species of birds
appear just briefly in our frequented spaces. As Little Crum Creek swells with rain,
the black and white warbler comes and goes with May.

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“Large fly, looks like mosquito” … So began what figured to become a long, confusing  internet search.  But then google returned a simple result:  it is a mosquito.

Toxorhynchites rutilus, the elephant mosquito, is several times larger than Little Crum Creek’s more frequently encountered mosquitoes. It is also, everafter,  infinitely more welcome.

That’s because the elephant mosquito doesn’t desire blood.  Both male & female prefer nectar from flowers such as the two varieties of summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) pictured above.

And that’s not all.  A female  will deposit her eggs in the same watery spots as bloodsuckers like the eastern treehole mosquito.  That way her larvae can devour theirs.  In fact, each larva might consume up to 400 other larvae.    (The adventurous can watch a fascinating video of this live action on youtube.)

Now that’s one mosquito we don’t want to swat.

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When not setting its spread wings above in trees, an occasional red-spotted purple
descends for the nectar of flowers, lending the butterfly bush its name.

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Here a Paraphidippus aurantius, traversing a fence from post to post,
appears a bit flummoxed to meet me leaning upon the rail.

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Mutually improvising our turns and impressions, I was finally pleased
to observe the jumping spider continue undeterred along its way.

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Little Crum Creek  . . .  Fireworks nightly,
Fireworks for hours.*

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