Observations in the Natural World

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July 25th, 2019 at 8:28:32 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 109
Posts: 2751
I like to use very little poison in the garden. The main one I use touts itself as natural, made from what chrysanthemums generate to ward off insects.

So I like to see natural insect predators working in the garden, like praying mantises; I sometimes spot one elsewhere and take it to the garden. They're funny when you do this, you just get them to crawl on a piece of cardboard or whatever, they aren't bothered a bit about what's going on, being fearless it seems.

Recently I've noticed a lot of assassin bugs. I knew what one was the instant I saw it, but I don't know why I already knew what it was. An insect, not a spider, they are unmistakable with that needle head sticking up like they do. I watched one who ultimately snagged a japanese beetle, he was initially waving his front legs at it as if to mesmerize it first. Fascinating.

The video shows a red one, mine are brown, and in fact tend to lurk on brown things to hide themselves. The one in a video goes after a stink bug, and it makes me wonder if that is why I am seeing so many of them. We have an invasion of korean stink bugs.

The light at the end of the tunnel can be a freight train coming the other way!..Fleastiff
July 26th, 2019 at 9:21:30 AM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3869
"'Out of Doors' with OdiousGambit". A missed opportunity ;)

I'm sure I could find some stuff to add. Looking forward to the thread.

But I ain't never seen an assassin bug. Wonder if I'm too far north? Something like that would definitely catch my attention.

I'll have to add some aquatic examples. I'm finding all sorts of odd stuff this year. Multiple different dragonfly nymphs are probably common to all, but I've been finding a large number of caterpillars when I turn over rocks hunting for craws. They're often green and look (except for color) a lot like tent caterpillars, but the weird thing is they look as though they belong in the water. While it's common to find this stuff during the myriad hatches, these look less washed in than they do hunkered down, as if they intend to be in the water. They crawl around perfectly normal and I ain't found a drowned one yet. It's been hooking my brain for weeks now.

Carry on. I'll be back when I find something
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
July 26th, 2019 at 7:01:37 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 59
Posts: 7490
Penny Royal is often planted as a garden perimeter. Wild grape leaves are large and flat so you get an early warning system of invading pests. Most insect-plant interactions are chemical and often below ground level.
July 27th, 2019 at 3:45:01 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 109
Posts: 2751
Quote: Fleastiff
Penny Royal is often planted as a garden perimeter. Wild grape leaves are large and flat so you get an early warning system of invading pests. Most insect-plant interactions are chemical and often below ground level.
Yes, mysterious problems with your garden are often grubs working on the roots.
Quote: Face
"'Out of Doors' with OdiousGambit". A missed opportunity ;)

I'm sure I could find some stuff to add. Looking forward to the thread.
Well, good! I figured for one thing maybe we needed this thread for the up and coming mushroom adventures ... oops, Face is not into that!

Quote:
But I ain't never seen an assassin bug. Wonder if I'm too far north? Something like that would definitely catch my attention.
Do you have a stink bug invasion up there? That's my current theory as to why I'm seeing them here now. About the only thing that eats them maybe.

Quote:
I'll have to add some aquatic examples. I'm finding all sorts of odd stuff this year. Multiple different dragonfly nymphs are probably common to all, but I've been finding a large number of caterpillars when I turn over rocks hunting for craws. They're often green and look (except for color) a lot like tent caterpillars, but the weird thing is they look as though they belong in the water. While it's common to find this stuff during the myriad hatches, these look less washed in than they do hunkered down, as if they intend to be in the water. They crawl around perfectly normal and I ain't found a drowned one yet. It's been hooking my brain for weeks now.

Carry on. I'll be back when I find something
Yes, please post away! btw going fishing today, crik fishing as you call it, for the first time in a long time. I had what seemed to be a broken bone in my foot that I didn't want to be twisting around the rocks in some creek. I don't know how the problem developed, though, damndest thing.
The light at the end of the tunnel can be a freight train coming the other way!..Fleastiff
July 27th, 2019 at 11:55:13 AM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3869
I wrote in the fishing thread that I've been absolutely buried in them all last fall and through the winter. From Sept to Mar I had to do almost zero purchasing or hunting to keep my fish fed, I needed only look around. Even my house was full.

Haven't seen one all spring or summer, save the small colony still alive in my basement. Can confirm they're edible, though. Fish, frogs, birds, toads, they all eat them. Dunno why they exploded last/ this year.

Hope the crickin went well. Craw numbers seem to have went way down (or their schedule changed due to cold wet spring) but it's been otherwise very pleasant around here. Lots and lots of green sunfish, which I prefer to chubs and fallfish. Also the lilies should be coming in. Always makes the crick a little more special
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
July 27th, 2019 at 5:15:48 PM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 109
Posts: 2751
yeah, I thought it might have been you talking about the stinkbugs. So I'm guessing you've got assassin bugs somewhere. They like to hide in pretty thick stuff.

Caught a nice smallmouth today, nothing to take a picture of and bragg, but plenty big enough to eat.
The light at the end of the tunnel can be a freight train coming the other way!..Fleastiff
July 27th, 2019 at 8:51:15 PM permalink
beachbumbabs
Member since: Sep 3, 2013
Threads: 6
Posts: 1600
One of the coolest things in the gardening world is that you can buy a big box of ladybugs pretty cheaply, and they ship them to you. They eat aphids and other pests that kill plants. I always found it fascinating that they will survive being shipped just fine, and they're great for the environment in your neighborhood.
Never doubt a small group of concerned citizens can change the world; it's the only thing ever has
July 27th, 2019 at 9:07:00 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 59
Posts: 7490
Quote: beachbumbabs
....is that you can buy a big box of ladybugs pretty cheaply.
Box is good, cotton bag is not. The beetles will have damaged legs if shipped in cotton bags. I don't know if "white buckets" are still a sign of innocent passage thru pot growing country, but it used to be what Ladybug hunters used.
December 3rd, 2019 at 10:25:34 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 109
Posts: 2751
Pi=3 today only

How so? All representations of Pi are an approximation it seems to me, and for me today using '3' instead of 3.14 or 3.1415926535897932 [what the calculator is using] is a matter of admitting that approximations go all around for what I'm measuring. 

I had been admiring some nice big trees in my yard lately when it occurred to me that I didn't know who was older, me or some of these trees. Maybe some of them should be admiring me! 

So I decided to look it up. It turns out that the diameter of the tree, along with the species, indeed should give you the age of the tree. You measure the tree chest high and I finally got around to that today on the really big one. It turns out to be 127 inches in circumference by my measure; if I measured it again I assume I'd get some other figure, so that's approximation #1.*  

Quote: link
Understand that the oak-age calculation is only an estimate. Foresters use much more complicated formulas to calculate age using trunk measurements.
The given growth factors provide more accurate ages for forest trees than street trees. Urban trees can suffer from pollution or other stress factors that cause them to grow slower than forest trees.


I'd have to guess the tree has had no such stress and may have benefited from some watering at times of drought and also benefited from competition elimination, so perhaps the factor to be used overstates it. The site says for this species, a white oak, you multiply by 5 to get it's years, and from the text it's clear this is an approximation as well. Using 3 for pi then multiplying by 5, I get 211.67 years! Holy cow! Using the pi function on the calculator I get 202.13 years for you sticklers, I hope you are happy. What I'd consider a reasonable conclusion though I think can go no further than to say the tree is likely to be close to 200 years old, perhaps a bit over. I would have guessed the max to be about 100 years before I looked into it. 

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/estimate-age-oak-tree-37563.html

*And just for the record that's just under 11 feet, but you do use inches. Diameter using pi = 3 is about three and a half feet. For sticklers you get 3.37.
The light at the end of the tunnel can be a freight train coming the other way!..Fleastiff
January 17th, 2020 at 3:12:47 PM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 109
Posts: 2751
why I didn't watch this video  "how to use a compass"


I got to the the intro which indicated it would cover 4 subjects, saw what they were, shook my head, and didn't go further. Why? The title suggests of course that this is what a person new to all this is going to need to know. OK, I have to admit I'm long irritated about the kind of directions you generally do get, to begin with. The bottom line is for most people in most situation you do not need to be an expert with the compass who can take a topographical map and triangulate off mountain peaks etc. For one thing, unless you're in the Rockies or something, all that crap is near useless instantly. 


The 4 subjects


1] parts of a compass ....... well, OK, no harm in knowing this *except* it probably creates instant intimidation


2] setting declination .......... in 99.9% of situations: only an experienced outdoorsman needs to deal with declination


3] taking a bearing from a map .........  yep you better have some peaks around and find a spot where you can see them. Now, I live in the Blue Ridge mountains area and I have to tell you I'd be in big trouble if I had to start taking bearings from a map


4] taking a bearing in the field .... see #3


The fact of the matter is most of the time situational awareness is the key to making your way in the wilderness, and is the first thing someone new to a compass needs to get down. In this case, situational awareness about directions as you start out. If you are going to be hiking into deep wilderness, yeah, time to get more into 'expert' or 'experienced' and believe me by then using a compass is second nature. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cF0ovA3FtY
The light at the end of the tunnel can be a freight train coming the other way!..Fleastiff
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