40 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 1-9-20

  1. I’m a little shocked at today’s pic. We have a bug snuffing another bug, we have multiple bugs which clearly appear to be having sex……


    I might need to post a CONTENT WARNING!!!!! for explicit images. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Third row, fourth picture…the bane of everyone’s existence! They are called “love bugs” because they usually are attached like this. My mother-in-law grew up in a more innocent time when they were called “truck and trailer bugs”. They are attracted to white and anything a butterfly or hummingbird would be attracted to. They will ruin the paint on the front of your car. They are native to Africa and were a failed experiment at a university somewhere in Florida, so they were released. They swarm in May and September. It is next to impossible to remove them from your windshield and the front of your car. You would think with as many as die in “collisions” with vehicles they would become extinct but oh no! They live up to the “love bug” name.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I guess I’m too innocent to notice all of that. I do see a bee on the last row. that is different from a bug. A bee is useful.
    Bugs are food for birds.

    Has it occurred to you that, except for humans, every animal is food for other animals??
    Even for lions and elephants, eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jo, I suppose it’s best to call the car rental company about the missing trim.

    Some years back we lost a hubcap from a rental car. The rental agency sent us to a VW dealer to get a replacement. I grumbled a bit at having to pay for it, since I don’t think we did anything to make the hubcap come off – it might not have been fastened correctly to begin with.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bugs! Not a fan, though they can be fascinating to watch (and they generally don’t creep me out). They all have a little niche to fill and purpose in the grand scheme of creation. But sometimes they need controlling.

    Our new mosquito species isn’t native to us either and is presumed to have arrived (from Asia and/or Australia) through the port. Now they’re multiplying like gangbusters and making our lives in the summer miserable. And because they carry diseases we’ve not seen here before — like yellow fever — they are also keeping Vector Control on the run.

    I’m still trying to wake up, I felt really groggy this morning. I almost had to cover Biden visiting/touring one of our areas today, but the reporter who’s based in that city was able to rearrange her schedule and was able to do it. I was the designated backup. And ‘Mayor Pete’ is touring one of our homeless shelters in Watts (which actually is part of our council district) tomorrow. There must be an election going on?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Of the Dems Mayor Pete is the least crazy followed my the woman from Michigan. Is she even still hanging on. Elizabeth Warren grates my nerves.


  7. Today’s montage is actually probably my favorite of the ones I did. As you noticed, it is all insects . . . and since butterflies got their own, I left them out of this one. (It does have a skipper and some moths.) Five photos have two species each, but I don’t know for sure that the damselflies are all different species, so there are more than three dozen species represented but I’m not sure the actual total. All were photographed in 2019.

    Every insect behavior except flight or hopping is seen in those photos–and so far I haven’t had any success in getting insects other than butterflies in flight. (Even butterflies are hard. Insects are small, they fly erratically, and they’re flying among grass or leaves and it’s hard to be focused on the right thing.)

    The insect at upper left, a robber fly, is probably the smallest insect in this group–well, except for the aphids, but the smallest photographed as an individual. Its length is less than that of my little fingernail, so less than a centimeter, and that shot shows its compound eyes, so it’s probably the best for “impressive level of detail.”

    AJ pointed out that several (three pairs) are mating and one has stabbed a caterpillar for lunch (second row, first column). Others are pollinating plants while they gather lunch, one is laying eggs (row 5, photo 4), one photo is a clutch of eggs that has just hatched and the new hatchlings nearby (third row, first photo)–though that is a pest species and hard on crops. At least one is sleeping (yellow jacket, lower left corner), ants are herding aphids, several (including a caterpillar) are juveniles). One (top row, second photo) shows parasites–tiny little wasp cocoons on the caterpillar of the catalpa sphinx moth. Two photos show shed exoskeletons, or “skins.” Row 4, photo 4 shows the exoskeleton of a mantis; the mantis, a new adult with its first wings, was also hanging on the rope as it dried. Next to the bottom row, first photo, shows a dragonfly on top of a leaf that has a shed skin (probably not its own) underneath the leaf. Just to the right of that photo is one of the shots with two insects in it–a tiny baby mantis watching a damselfly that just landed on the top of the stalk of grass it’s on. Both of these animals are predators, though my hunch is that the mantis is the more likely to be victor if one catches the other. Just to the right of that photo is an insect grooming, cleaning its legs. Below the “cleaning” insect is an insect that looks like a bee or wasp, but isn’t: it’s a flower fly (aka hoverfly), the largest and prettiest I’ve seen. But yes, there is a bee in the photo, the carpenter bee that is the next to the last photo on the bottom row. And two bees of different species on the same flower in the photo at the upper right corner.

    I did re-crop and re-upload photos to fit in this one where I needed to do it, so it took a lot of work to do this one. And I actually had quite a number of photos of insects that just wouldn’t fit in this one.

    I hadn’t heard those insects called lovebugs or heard what Kim said about them. They aren’t all that common here. Not uncommon, but not super common. The common name is yellow-collared scape moth, Cisseps fulvicollis. I do know the names of most of the insects in these photos, if you want to know what any of them are.


  8. DJ, rats creep me out, too. But somehow I have always been fascinated by insects.

    Once I had a good camera, I realized I could now photograph birds, and started doing so. (And then realized I wasn’t getting very good photos of birds and got a better camera.) The natural next step was butterflies, especially since we had purple coneflower and black-eyed susans growing just the other side of the window where I sat most of the day, and multiple species of butterflies came to them. Then I started walking down the street and photographing wildflowers, too. And often those flowers had insects on them, so I started taking photos of the insects, and then I realized how good my camera is for insects and I started taking more. And now it’s a bit of a challenge–that insect is really tiny . . . can I get it in focus and get a good shot? Or that insect is really fast, can I find it resting for a moment and get a shot? Or that one is so pretty or so interesting . . . and before I knew it, bluebirds were holding dances over my head to get my attention away from those silly insects and back to them. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Kim, if it will make you feel better, I looked up the “lovebug,” and it’s a different species. If we have those there, I haven’t seen them. It does look similar, but not the same one.


  10. I tank I told you this before. But when I was a kid they used to have short clips, including news in the movie theaters. Comics, etc. and short clips. That was in the early/mid forties.
    There was a clip once about the prophesies of Nostradomus.
    I remember one of them.
    He said that England would be a great nation from Elizabeth to Elizabeth.
    Seems to be working out.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Frustrating day so far. Got through the port board meeting but another meeting (discussing homelessness and a proposed shelter) that was closed to the press is yielding no one who will talk to me after the fact — and what was to be a fairly straight-forward obituary for a prominent citizen activist is mired in what is becoming a family meltdown amid major hard feelings and lots of factions forming trying to control the service information. They now want to see a “draft” of what I write (which we don’t do).

    But back to trying to find someone who was in that closed meeting and who will talk to me.

    Meanwhile, I need to figure out who gets a voicemail I received from a (print) subscriber who needs her delivery tweaked for their upcoming vacation. We get all kinds of random phone messages now, many that have nothing to do with us or the editorial side and the jobs we do — so we have to forward all of those to “someone” who can handle it.


  12. Re. my 3:02.
    I tried to go back and research this but you can get embroiled in the Nostradamus sites so much to be confusing.


  13. Chas, I have grown up hearing and seeing the name of Nostradamus mentioned many times – particularly in tabloid headlines at grocery checkouts – but I never paid much attention. It was always very clear from my childhood on that no stock was ever to be put in any attempts to predict the future, whether from newspaper horoscopes or palm/card readings or supposed prophets like Nostradamus. I early learned the lessons of passage such as Isaiah 8:19: “And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?”.

    Historically, England’s greatness peaked in the Victorian era when the sun never set on the British Empire, while Elizabeth II’s reign saw the nearly complete dissolution (necessary, but still a loss in terms of prestige and power to the U.K.) of the British Empire. I happen to like my monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who is monarch of more independent countries than just the U.K., as I think she conducts herself, as well as anyone could in such circumstances, with grace and dignity in her role as head of state (I have no Republican leanings toward a dissolution of the monarchy); but the U.K. itself has long been dwindled in power, which seems fitting, as its last decades in empire holdings such as India or Kenya were disgraceful in the damage that was done to the future independent countries.

    Daniel, a truly reliable prophet, interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of an image to be a foretelling of the coming Empires of the world: gold for Babylon (now a ruin in Iraq); silver for Persia (now a ruin in Iran); bronze for Greece; iron for Rome; and feet of iron mixed with clay to symbolize the kingdoms that would come after Rome “partly strong and partly broken.” England’s Empire, like those that were before it and those that come after it, was always going to be partly strong and partly broken and it, like those before and after, was always going to be broken by the growth of the church of Jesus Christ, who was the stone made without hands in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. We finally have the older Honda running again so I used it to do a lot of errands today. When I got home, I had a call on voicemail from the auto repair shop saying they had failed to charge me for the new tire they put on it. I did not look at the bill but I thought the 700.00+ had covered it. Oh, well. I did not mean to put so much money into a car only worth about 3,000 dollars. Several people have wanted to buy that car. I am considering what to do with it. I sort of wish my brother would buy it because his car has become even less reliable with its very high mileage. This Honda had the oil consumption problem, but the Honda dealership thinks they took care of that. We will see.


  15. Janice, the way I figure whether an older car is worth a few hundred dollars in repairs is how generally reliable it is and how much more “life” I think it has. If it is still reliable and should go another five or six years with only basic maintenance and an occasional small repair, then $500 is just $100 a year of anticipated extra life. That’s a whole lot cheaper than car payments, and it puts off needing a newer car that much longer. If the car is likely to need another several hundred dollars of work every few months, then it probably isn’t worth it, but a one-time big outlay on a reliable car is better than getting a newer one. You might have to put that expense in a newer car if you had a newer one. But if the car is no longer reliable, breaking down every few months, that’s another matter.


  16. Speaking of cars, a friend posted this on FB today:

    I once bought a wooden car.
    Wooden engine, wooden doors, wooden wheels, wooden seats
    Put the wooden key in the wooden ignition.
    Wooden start.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Nice to see all the greenery in Cheryl’s header pictures of late. A taste of spring and summer in the winter. 🙂

    I started a new piano student tonight. Nice boy, and his mom is pleasant and encouraging.

    My studio is slowly growing. A year ago I had one other student besides my daughter, and now I have five in addition to her. Three boys, three girls.

    I don’t know yet whether I’ll be accompanying the university concert choir I did last semester. This semester doesn’t start until the end of the month, and the director isn’t particularly good about timely communication. I have mixed feelings about that experience last year, but am willing to give it a go another semester if they ask me back and I’m still available at rehearsal times.

    I’d rather teach piano, though, and if there was much demand for after-school teaching slots (so far, people are mainly requesting times well into the evening), I’d choose teaching over accompanying. As it stands now, my schedule allows me to do both (but without adding in church music). Doing all three last month was too much — the urgent took priority over the important, which is backwards — but doing two things besides homeschooling and keeping up on solo piano practice is doable.

    I don’t know whether the two extra things I’ll choose to keep up will be piano teaching and church music, or piano teaching and accompanying. Or it might be nothing but piano teaching outside of homeschooling and solo piano practice.

    We’ll see. God knows.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. And if Chas doesn’t like DJ’s wooden post, he wooden like the animal puns I put on Twitter. Michelle says she reported me and “they” are on the way. But that was yesterday and “they” haven’t come yet.


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