Miscellaneous Encounters

by Carl Strang

It’s time to shake more photos out of the bag, as we are well into the seasonal transition. Back when the weather was hot, a male blue dasher posed at St. James Farm.

For some reason I hadn’t previously been successful in getting a good photo of a male. The forward-cocked wings are a characteristic of the genus.

A few weeks ago some odd looking mushrooms came up beneath a cluster of conifers at Mayslake.

I recognized these from my years in Pennsylvania: old man of the woods. The peculiar flaked surfaces of cap and stem are distinctive.

Recently I shared a photo of a greenstriped grasshopper nymph. At the time, I wondered whether the brown colors of males and the green colors of females might appear as early as the nymph stage. The earlier individual was brown.

Last week I ran across this green one.

So both colors at least are present in the fall. Though I cannot say for sure, the simplest explanation is that the gender-specific colors appear this early in development.

Also last week, a young house centipede explored my office walls.

I marvel at their ability to control all those long legs on a smooth vertical surface.

Of course, one advantage is that the many feet provide lots of little grippers.

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