Ah, darn. I had an entire post written on the phone yesterday, went to add a photo to it, and somehow discarded the whole post rather than just a photo I wanted to replace. I declared it a sign that I should just concentrate on doing rather than writing for a little while. So, for the past three days I’ve been doing stuff like crazy! I feel quite accomplished.
A lot of this doing occurred because Chris and Kathleen came up on Friday and stayed until after lunch on Sunday. You see, Chris likes to work with his hands and is a great problem solver, so he did a bunch of things to help us around the office and the Hermits’ Rest house.
And because of that, I was inspired to do my own set of tasks, with Kathleen there to lend some muscle and brain power, too. We’re pretty lucky to have Lee’s clever relatives working with us on our projects!
On Friday, after Mandi and I worked like good employees, Chris assembled Kathleen’s lovely new office furniture, straight from the box. It’s probably the first “new” stuff we have in the Hermits’ Rest building. It’s all white and brass, and cutely modern. She brought lamps, which enabled us to really see the former storeroom, which turns out to be pretty cute (and clean, thanks to Melissa’ cleaning it last week).
Hey again. I’ve got some more deep thinking coming up, but first I have to say it’s hard to get anything at all done this time of year, because there’s always something interesting and deceased laying around.
Our first thing isn’t dead, just empty. That’s the tiny nest the baby finch tried to fall out of yesterday. It’s so small and exposed! But birds successfully fledged.
Awkward photo of awkward bird nest
The next best is bigger and more protected.
But at least two fledglings ended up on the porch this morning!
It has rained so much the past few days that it feels like I live at a mosquito farm. Everywhere I go I’ve been eaten up, though the barn swallows are trying to keep up with them at the ranch.
Martha says that our old office on Travis is now located at “Lake Travis.” Birds love to bathe in it, but they can’t enjoy their lovely patio at the moment. (By the way, they recently saw a mother opossum and all her babies on her back–sure with I had a photo!)
The rains have also driven a lot of things indoors. A group of wolf spiders is hanging out in the kitchen of the old church building. I hope they scoot back out before the pest control dudes come!
It’s prime time for observing flowers and insects right now. I thought I’d share a couple of the things I’ve been observing, and give an update on my cactus that I shared a photo of a couple of days ago.
Insect of the Month
I’d say this is my favorite insect observation this month. Look at that big, green head! It’s a compost fly, and quite tiny. It was calm enough sitting on my hand that I could get a couple of nice images of it.
I don’t think I’d ever heard of compost flies before. It turns out they are a type of soldier fly.
Solider Flies are brilliant mimics of wasps and bees, but they do not sting and are so tiny, they may be difficult to find.
It turns out these are insect Good Citizens, too! The bug identification site continues: “This species of Soldier Fly can be found in woods, gardens, and parks, with populations of adults hovering or standing over rotting plant matter. They are very small in size. These Solider Flies are not pests and do not seem interested in humans or their buildings like House Flies. They have been seen on compost heaps, piles of grass clippings, and other decomposing vegetation. Females lay fertilized eggs on the plant matter, so they are also called Compost Flies. Maggots are also small and tan in color with ten segments to their worm-like bodies. The Solider Fly maggots eat the compost and their presence may deter other types of pesky flies from inhabiting the same area. Adults are believed to drink flower nectar.”
This sounds like an insect I’d like to see more of at the Hermits’ Rest. What a little helper!