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Monday, May 26, 2014

A Hen Turkey Decides to Take a Break on the Patio

This hen turkey decided to settle down on the patio this morning, for some reason known only to herself. Gary spotted her and called (in subdued tones) for me to come down -- with camera -- and the cats started to converge (meowing TOO much, I must say!). I finally was able to get right up against the glass to get a decent image of her, while Bonnie crouched next to me, emitting her chattery "bird meow". She had a hankering for a turkey drumstick!! For the record, Bonnie has done this same behavior with a full grown DEER that visited the patio years ago. She wants to bite off WAY more than she can chew...

She was well aware of our presence, and stiffened visibly, or even craned her neck, when little movements occurred on our side of the glass. She had some flies buzzing around her and took a peck at them now and then. She seemed uninjured when she stood up and walked away later.
Bonnie, ready to take on "big game". Bonnie never leaves the house, and would have no clue of how to hunt, I suspect...but don't tell HER that.

FOS (First of Season) Insects at the Black Light!

As the work responsibilities wane, and the weather FINALLY starts to mellow, I had a chance to put the black light out on the patio last night, in wonderfully warm, calm air. It seems like this season so far has either been cool (too cool at night here in the mountains for many insects) or very hot (with intense wind and wildfires thrown in for good measure). I hope we're starting the "normal" late spring/summer season with moderate warmth...and not so much WIND!

The first Prionus californicus of the season buzzed in to the light early on. I shifted him to one of the "photo rocks" nearby for a picture.

Prionus californicus (the California Root Borer).
Not long after, the first Polyphylla decemlineata that I have seen this season showed up (noisily, and clumsily). He did not want to pose, but I managed a quick shot of him as he clambered off this bit of sandstone.

Polyphylla decemlineata, the Ten-lined June Beetle
There was an unusually high number of reddish cockroaches, most of which were not going to the light, specifically, but were lingering around in the shadows. Usually I see just a couple of these at a time, but this time there were at least a dozen. Must be a good year for them.

Cockroach. Possibly Parcoblatta or some other native roach, or possibly Turkistan Cockroaches, which are invasives.

One of the "Giant Ants" made on appearance, as well. These ants are about 15 mm long (at least). Possibly a carpenter ant.

On the prowl...

There were also the usual Brown Leatherwings (Pacificanthia consors), Serica sp. (to be determined later by those who know them better than I), and miscellaneous moths, as well as a large Olios spider feasting on a crane fly.

A pretty typical late-May evening on the patio.