Tuesday, July 5, 2011

a grass, a sedge, and scary monster aliens (as usual)

Remember my project to learn grasses? <chuckle> Yeah, good luck with that. I have tentatively identified one of them, though. The one I called “green chevron”. It seems to be quack grass – Agropyron repens. This beauty has started flowering.
My guidebook says that the inflorescence (all-the-flowers-collectively) are flat (true), and that the flowers have their backs toward the stem (also true).
This one seems to provide the framework for a spider web…and lo and behold, the spider’s quite visible, at the top of the picture. Naturally, I didn’t notice it while photographing it.
And here is some sort of little fly…
So pretty. Let’s move on and give other species a shot, shall we?
Queen Anne’s lace – there’s that little purple flower at the center again.
And now for the False Solomon’s Seal. I just wanted to see how big the berries were getting.
The plump ones are maybe 3/16”. I didn’t see any more sawfly larvae eating them, but I did see this little inchworm…
…working its way around from berry to berry. I made a 30 second film of him, for which he stood on his back end, erect, not moving. It didn’t make for an exciting oeuvre, but the mosquitos sure loved that I kept still for so long.
Right next to this was one of the leaves of the plant. I noticed idly that they’re already turning a little brown around the edges, but then I looked more closely.
Gaagghhhh!  A scary spider. Shudder. I know, Little Miss Amateur Naturalist – but this one just looks like some kind of alien in rest mode, prior to attacking the ship.
So why don’t I mind the 1/8” baby grasshopper katydid nymph [thanks, BugGuide!] sitting on some flowering Timothy grass?
Here’s another one I think I identified – barberpole sedge (Scirpus rubrotinctus).
I ran into Best Beloved in the driveway – he has been feeling a little under the weather lately, perhaps because he is allergic to All Grasses, Trees, Flowers, and Pollinating Things, and hey, not a day goes by without some more pollen being released. (In fact, I actually saw pollen floating off some quack grass when I felt the stem to verify it was round.) He looked at this particular photo, and wondered, is that a spiderweb? a fungus? (It’s a little hard to see on the camera’s display.) I’m thinking, yeah, it’s a spiderweb... 
…because check out the upper left corner of the picture.
P1110274 b
…more scary alien legs.


  1. I've seen elongated spiders like the one you call scary. I wonder if they narrow themselves like that in an attempt to be less visible.

  2. Great post. That last photo actually gave me goose bumps. I love spiders, I really do, but very much prefer that they aren't ever too close to me, and don't surprise me.

  3. The green fly is an aphid ;)