curious and wary                    exchanged                    on the footpath …

Carolina mantis (Stagmomantis carolina),  I presume?

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Curiously of a sudden

a fork-tailed bush katydid (scudderia furcata)*

appears, out of somewhere, to greet

the latest monarch release.

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*Best guess. Out of the eight species of bush katydid (scudderia), the fork-tailed (s. furcata) is said to be most common. Compare scudderia at Katydids North of Mexico.

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basking on your porch cement

a sunny young goldfinch

met the cool near summer’s end

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Barely visible Myzocallis asclepiadis aphids in various life-stages

cling to the bottoms of milkweed leaves that I glean to clean

and feed to the season’s last monarch caterpillars.

All summer these underleaf-feeding aphids have been dropping what ecologist Anurag Agrawal calls “honeydew” excrement for ants and maybe others to eat on the leaftops below (a process just beyond the discretion & ability of this camera — so we’ll take his word for it).

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How often, so easily, might we overlook you, leaf-like little planthopper.

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Northern flatid planthoppers are common here on the stems of plants they might eat.

But I could not resist the dramatic image of one on the ground it will someday feed.

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ID Reference (U of DE)

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Every power of concentration must meet in vision to make out
a tiny gnat ogre (in the family of robber flies) watching for even tinier prey
at a narrow tip of milkweed.

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