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Laid Back Lounge / Re: animals in your life
« Last post by billy rubin on Today at 08:22:09 PM »
thank goodness none of these live around here

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Laid Back Lounge / Re: animals in your life
« Last post by billy rubin on Today at 06:50:29 PM »
mud dauber!


we have open doors and windows, no screens, so things are always invading the house. the mud daubers of the family sphecidae have been favourites of mine all my life. the various poter wasps will build tuvbes, like these, or big clumps of mud, or sometimes exquisite little perfect amphorae. then they stuff em full of paralyzed arthropods and lay an egg on em and seal em up.

i never knew whether they could sting until i finally picked one up and kept jabbing her against my arm to see. finally after about 20 jabs she stung stung me, but it was obviously not a hjigh priority of her behavioural regimine.

wonderful things. they congregate on teh edges of mudholes to pack up little balls of building materials, and the next time you see them theyre constructing apartments on your walls
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Laid Back Lounge / Re: The Outside Thread
« Last post by billy rubin on Today at 06:20:21 PM »
i have just ordered seeleys book, to arrive in two days, while i am gone hauling steel to the factories of america
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Laid Back Lounge / Re: The Outside Thread
« Last post by billy rubin on Today at 06:13:12 PM »
bee hunting is mostly a lost art. nobody does it these days because you can buy bees and don't have to locate a bee tree. but its still really useful to be able to figure out where your bees are going. ill see about getting a copy of seley.

 the farthest ive ever seen was severak miles. i had bees in a safflower field-- nasty things, safflower-- and one afternoon they all started bringing in bright yellow pollen, different from the burnt orange stuff the safflower  generated. i could see a patch of yellow star thistle about two miles to the northwest (california is flat around there) and so i drove the truck over to look, and sure enough, my bees were hitting them and hauling it back. around here there aren't many wild hives in the woods, and the four or five i have behind the warehouse have been mostly left to their own devices since i split them in the spring.

i'll see what i can do to build them up for the winter here and then we'll see what survives the snow.
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Laid Back Lounge / Re: The Outside Thread
« Last post by jumbojak on Today at 04:56:55 PM »
You should give your kids a book called Following the Wild Bees by Thomas Seeley. If you have a pollinator plantation I imagine your family would be interested in how far the bees are coming to reach The Oasis.
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Music / Re: What are you listening to?
« Last post by billy rubin on Today at 04:04:36 PM »
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Sports / Re: Simone Biles
« Last post by billy rubin on Today at 03:59:46 PM »
i'm not a follower of sports, so i don't really have a dog in this, but it seems to me that lots of people are trying to take possession of this girl's athletic performance, as if she owed them something.

i don't think she owes anybody anything. it's her life that she's living. if her sport requires 100 percent concentration to avoid serious injury, and she believes that she only has 99 percent available to give on that day, then i applaud her for not risking her neck to make a TV spectacle for people in the bleachers.
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Laid Back Lounge / Re: The Outside Thread
« Last post by billy rubin on Today at 03:52:32 PM »


outside the kitchen porch. cant remember the flower. my wife is the plant prson, but she caught a bumble bee worker on it.

ohio is a place where the culture is into acres of closely mown grass surrounding the houses. no one ever uses the space, its just a showcase for lawn. people consider mowing a recreational activity.

our place is overgrown with weeds and purposely planted insectories. from the road, it looks like a third world jungle slum, but up close we're a riot of hummingbirds, pollinators, and native insects. my son has a pet mantid in front of his door that he watches. currently a mud dauber wasp is busy building a mudnest on the kitchen wall by the door that she will stuff full of spiders or caterpillars before laying an egg.

i suppose we're the scorn of the neighbors, but we have butterfiles and they dont
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Laid Back Lounge / Re: The Outside Thread
« Last post by jumbojak on Today at 03:38:32 PM »
I don't think it changed their diet, just their ability to find food until they had adjusted to the reduced visibility. Bass and bluegill are visual ambush predators. I suspect that such a sudden shift would change things up for them. It was probably nice for the minnows while it lasted.
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