Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Signed, Sealed, and In The Mail

Phaon Crescent 12
Phaon Crescent butterfly. Large view.

It's now official. The new publisher (same people) for Covenant is Aisling Press. As of this writing the web site is still under development. I'll provide the URL when it's ready for prime time. Galleys are in the works.

I weed-whacked in two installments, finishing up yesterday. On Sunday I waited until 6:30 PM, when the sun was fairly low and the heat wasn't as sizzling. I stopped when I ran out of light -- but not before I took a break to photograph this lovely Phaon Crescent butterfly:

Phaon Crescent 23
Large view

Phyciodes phaon, Family Nymphalidae (Brushfooted Butterflies). This is a tiny butterfly, with a wingspan of about an inch.

Phaon Crescent 14

This species ranges "from Southern California east through South Texas and Florida to coastal South Carolina. Strays to eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri," according to Bugguide.Net.

Mary joined me to pull some skunkvine and to scout around for "spiky dandelions" (which she didn't find). She noted how tall the oak that she had nurtured from acorn had grown....

Mary's Oak

The oak is the tree at far left. The taller tree growing behind and directly to the left of her is a volunteer cherry.

She had picked the acorn up in the fall of 2003 and grew its sproutling in a pot indoors for almost two years. During that time she moved it from window to window to follow the sun. In August 2005 she planted a spindly seedling outside, with aluminum foil around the base to discourage cutworms and a tomato cage around the rest of the plant.

For comparison: I took the photo shown below on August 16, 2005, with an Argus DC1500 before my "good camera" days. I manipulated the photo to make the seedling more visible.


Mary noticed a cluster of tiny wasps on the oak.

Scoliid Conference on Oak
Large view

These wasps were each about 10mm long. Thanks to Sean McCann for genus ID. He says, "Perhaps Scolia nobilitata." Eric R. Eaton adds that these are males. "They congregate to sleep like this."

That tugged at my heartstrings. Itty bitty sleepyheads.


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