Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Unorganized Random Stuff

Gimme some time to sharpen my organizational skills? I’m running on empty and tripping off beat. Until I gather myself…


After a day of light rain the clearing breeze was slight and balmy. Have you ever experienced a sudden swarm of Ladybugs?


A few hundred buzzed the front porch, tapping my eyeglasses, snuggling in the folds of my clothes, and crawling inside my shirt and shoes.


If it were any other bug, I would have run inside screaming wildly. When I finally had enough, I walked through the house into the garage and shook myself out before going inside for a change of clothing. They’re so cute!


I’m not getting tired of these pond shots under the clouds. The lilies will dissolve into brown mush as a hard frost must be in the forecast soon. The temperature of the tile on the bathroom floor warns me.

In the backyard, I’ve seen occasional warblers that I can’t describe. I think I saw a tiny, flitty female Ruby-Crowned Kinglet but without a photo to examine, I can’t prove it.

Since I only have two regular birds in the yard, I’m walking again and finding new places to explore. A pond in the neighborhood was loaded with warblers. Not able to conceal my excitement, I was quick to the pond’s brushy edge.


A Yellow-rumped isn’t a lifer, but I’m always happy to lay my eyes on the yellow dot. Already lost in the brush and trees, I encountered a major obstacle. When I thought the low, dark Fire Ant mounds were dormant, they’re alive! This is a real problem for me. Will I need to wear protective gear or stay away?

Before I hightailed to the parking lot, I had to stop and meet a lone duck who appeared out of nowhere to greet me.


The poor thing was the only duck at the pond. I can’t ID it. Help?


Is it looking for Old Duck Assisted Living?


It was nice meeting you.


Rather than using zoom, I’d rather sneak up on one and get a head shot. But there are those Fire Ants. Grrrrrr.


The Bank of America and the American Flag reflect on the grocery store pond. Nothing political here… I’m sick of it all.


Not far from the flag reflection, I saw this. WHAT IS WRONG HERE? That beer bottle had to have been tossed directly into the pond. This fries me, you know. If I were a cop…

Gina brought Mr. Biggins and Bam here for a play date tonight. All sweet. Have you ever experienced an English Bulldog’s fleshy face on your neck, offering noisy wet kisses? It’s heaven, I tell you.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Ladybugs- ACK! They come in hoards every fall creeping into the house. Ours are Asian Ladybeetles and they BITE. Ok, I guess it's just a pinch, but it hurts. They stink too. You can have 'em. I guess I shouldn't complain though, we don't have fire ants.

I'm sick to death of the political
squawking too.

No idea on the duck. I'm all id'd out after last weekend. You just bring that old duck up to the Hasty Brook Assisted Living Community when we get it built!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
I too love the ladies. I never mind them. I have seen a few warblers in the backyard. A Nashville Warbler was here a couple of weeks ago. The cold front that blew in helped a few more come on down into the Mid-west. The Pine Siskins are back as are the Starlings.
I have no idea on the pretty duck. Nice for all of us you are out walking with your camera. I love turtles!!
Please ask Lynne if all old ducks are invited to the Assisted Living Community. I know where there are a few.
Hugs to the sisters,

Wendy said...

Oh, I like ladybugs. They usually come out in the spring. I guess we don't see them hiding in the cracks over the winter.
Cute little duck. I think he was telling you not to worry, those ants will freeze soon. (I hope for your sake).

nina at Nature Remains. said...

We get them, too!

The first fall, they were charming, and I walked room to room saving them from the vacuum hose by catching the clusters filling every ceiling's corner in a bottle.

I have to admit, I'm less than charmed now.
I was ironing a favorite top and pressed the steam button to produce a rust-colored stain--the reservoir full of them.
They just had to crawl in there, too!

Dog_geek said...

Hmmm... the red caruncles on the beak and face of that duck give it away, I'm pretty sure, as some variety of muscovy duck. Which variety, I don't know, but that's a start, at least!

KGMom said...

The bugs that have overrun us here are stink bugs. Hey, I'll trade you my stinks bugs for your ladybugs. Fair trade?
Love the photo of all the doggies--what might you be holding that makes them all look up?

Mary said...

Donna...FOOD? Naturally.

JeanMac said...

Oh, Mary, that pond shot is just gorgeous. I am lucky if I see 2 ladybugs - how did you manage that:)
No aphids in your yard, I'll bet.

jason said...

Your duck is a Muscovy--likely a hybrid at that. The neck, breast and upper-back plumage pattern is unusual and unique. I'm not sure what that half of the combination is, but I do know there's Muscovy in there--and it's probably a female.

I absolutely LOVE ladybugs. A friendly, helpful insect. Just beautiful.

The dog shot is adorable! Was someone holding a ball or a treat or some other goodie? They all look so expectant...

Michele Wassell said...

I really enjoyed your post.. Great photos!! :)

Cheryl said...

I love ladybirds....and all other bugs for that matter...they all have a purpose.....

It is strange but I actually feel I should be voting in your election .....the UK media has been full of it for months now.....

It annoys me to Mary to see litter....I walked my dogs the other day and some idiot had thrown rubbish into the ditch outside our house.....it really makes me want to scream.....

English bulldogs are a joy....although I have never had the pleasure of one kissing my neck....but I live in hope!!!!!

Jayne said...

I once spent an hour on our back screened porch rescuing hundreds of lady bugs and releasing them outside. I love them too Mary! :c) The doggie cousins are so cute!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

An interesting post Mary. I just love to see sky/cloud photos.

All of those lady bugs on me would creep me out.

That duck is ugly. It is probably a hybrid of some sort.

Your granddogs are cute. I bet the licker sisters are happy to have company once in a while.

NCmountainwoman said...

We had those ladybugs in WI, and they were like Lynne's...they would bite. I hated them!

Great photos. I love the dog party.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading in one of Bernd Heinrich's books about swarms of ladybugs that would invade his cabin. He said they stank, especially when crushed. I haven't experienced that myself, but it makes me glad the local swarms stay outside for the most part.

Debbie said...

I do not enjoy the ladybug swarms...they get on everything. They are cute, but not so many at once.

Love the photos, as always. My pond is looking forlorn and cold. We have had several hard frosts, more like a freeze with temps down into the low 20s. We had snow yesterday.

No help on the duck.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary,
I was going to say Muscovy duck too, but others beat me to it.

Not a fan of ladybugs either. They were brought into Minnesota to help the farmers eliminate insects that pestered soybeans. Once the soybeans are picked in the fall the ladybugs have no more work to do and are everywhere! On sunny afternoons the south side of my house is covered with them and many get inside. They come in on logs for the fireplace and miraculously revive in the warmth of the house, so we have ladybugs all winter! I bought a little vacuum specifically designed for sucking up bugs and it works great.

I love those Furry Kids!

TR Ryan said...

You do unorganized better than anyone I know. The duck looks to be a mish mash of domesticated muscovite. Never heard that about lady bugs - weird. You better find some aphids to feed them - we must respect the ladies. I used to buy them by the 1000 per bag and release them on my aphid-loved plants. They would go right to town and the plant would get all better.


That bottle in the water would fry me too, Mary. I can't stand litter.

I've always imagined that English bulldogs' faces were like five times as smooshy as a Boston's. Am I on the right track? ;o)

We had an influx of ladybugs (inside the house!) one year for some reason and I've never looked at them the same. Hundreds all in one spot tend to lose their charm, LOL.

Heidi said...

The ladybugs are very cute, but so many at once? I'd get the willies I'm sure.

I'm very tired of the political garbage too. Thankfully we have TiVo, so I NEVER have to watch the commercials :D

Kathie Brown said...

You should sic that gang in the last photo on whomever tossed that beer bottle in the pond! I love the dissolving lillies.

Kathi said...

I like the good, native ladybugs, but those Asian imports are bad news. I found out from Bill at the winery that they are a problem in vineyards. They don't eat the plants, but if they get into the wine, they make it taste terrible.

I would call your duck a "mutt duck." I am guessing domestic Muscovy x Mallard. Escaped domestic ducks quite frequently cross-breed with Mallards, and you can get some remarkable combinations. (It's not listable, LOL!)


Corey said...

I wonder if your unidentified backyard warbler was the same Palm Warbler that visited my yard a few days ago? It was so random and unexpected just hopping around out there in the dirt!

Rose said...

Love all the photos, Mary! Are those true red ladybugs? I ask because what we have are the brown beetles, which are Asian lady beetles. They get into the house and fly all over--very annoying. Red ones I like.

I think we're all ready for the election to be over with!

Looks like the Licker Sisters and their nephews (?) had a good time together.

Naturegirl said...

Mary I loved this post! All those ladybugs!!...I would have been in my glory as they are my fav. bug!!
Aww...Mr. duck...love the captures...swimming away my fav..oh I love all these images...your floors...LOVE it!! I have the light hardwood in my hall and stairs..should have done the kitchen too..Oh well nest house! ..ok ok...the dogs are CUTE!!hugs

Unknown said...

Nice images, the lone duck is my pick in this series.


The Quacks of Life said...

first one is very atmospheric

Larry said...

Some of the domestic ducks are actually quite nice to look at. Nice photos too Mary.-I'm a political junky on election years.-Can't get enough of it.It'll all be over soon though-not to worry.

Sherry at the Zoo said...

I went out to my car Friday and it was covered with ladybugs. 100's of them. So weird...

Four dogs at once? My idea of heaven!