Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wax moth larva

Crawling around on some of their cocoons , I let it out before it wanted to leave it's home. It wasn't happy. I deep sixed it afterwards.
From a box of frames I forgot to store properly. Most of them are salvageable. I'll put them in the freezer for a couple of days to be sure the eggs and any larvae I missed are killed.

A tiny hairy beetle

Trichodesma cristata – Anobiid beetle
 Adult: 5-6mm.
Order Coleoptera/ Family Anobiidae – Death-watch beetles
Should I be worried?

Click to enlarge & appreciate it's hairiness.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Arctiinae (erebid moths)

Dr. Paul Hammond, identified the orange and black  caterpillar as Ranchman’s Tiger Moth and the other one as a Garden Tiger Moth.

At last! Something that eats Blackberry and Scotch broom! Of course at least these two also dine on Lupines. 

Photos by my wife.
"Local folklore of the American Northeast and the American South hold that "woolly bears" (or "wooly worms" in the South) have the ability to predict the weather, similar to that of the groundhog. The forthcoming severity of a winter may be indicated by the amount of black on the Isabella tiger moth's caterpillar—the most familiar woolly bear in North America. More brown than black is said to mean a mild winter, but more black than brown is supposed to mean a harsh winter.[13] However, the relative width of the black band varies among instars, not according to weather."
This is obvious, as we are currently having a record mild winter and these are more black than brown.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A bald eagle visits

This is pretty cool! The eagle flew down and made a pass over one of the ponds, then sat in an oak for a while. Then it reversed and did the same thing in the other direction. There were a couple of angry geese that it might have  have been interested in, but it more likely was the dead goose we found just up from where the beavers had dammed the overflow for he pond. Which I cleaned out. As soon as I pulled the goose out of the water a couple of vultures showed up & sat in the tree the eagle had left. Pretty poor photos, because the wife only had the point & shoot. I cropped it pretty severely.

See him?

Removing the dam on the side overflow ditch, as it is the water is pouring through the hole the beavers have made in the center of the dam. This will lower the water back below the breach. A temporary fix.
 The beaver had included an old fence post and probably a couple hundred pounds of 4 & 5lb rocks. One or two really heavy rocks they somehow managed to get in there to hold the big stuff down.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Kind of drizzily here, so I shot another little spider.

This is another small kind of unremarkable little lady. True Spiders (Araneomorphae) » Entelegynes  » Pimoidae »      Pimoa ,  probably  altioculata.

I damaged her egg case & you can see some of her eggs. She has since repaired it. 
She is about 5 or 6mm long.
Click to enlarge.

In the meantime, the bees are resting during the rain. They have been bringing in tons of pollen. Everything is blooming 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule and somehow winter passed us by here in the PNW. The plums are about finished blooming and the pears are starting as will the maple very soon. Some folks are having to put on supers & I am way behind setting out my swarm traps as they will also start swarming earlier this year.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March wildlife on the Farm

After  shooting these, I returned home to discover I had left my camera settings on the smallest size and least resolution settings and had forgotten to change them. A bit disappointing.

Western pond turtles sunning themselves

 Distant shot of the elk herd by the North pond

 3 photos stitched together of the herd. Elk from left to right. Kind of hard to see the elk.

Taking it easy & eating Budde's next hay crop

The spike on the right in the panorama above