Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why I Can't Get Anything Done

It is the first sunny and truly dry-dry weekend morning in weeks, and I want to tear the mudroom apart to figure out where the musty smell is coming from--and eliminate it. I take all the shoes and dump them on the deck. I hang the coats over the deck rails. I pull out the shoe rack and start to mop the floor when Z calls me outside because he has caught this:

So of course I have to get the dragonfly books and my nature journal so I can sketch it and try to identify it. It seems to be a female black-tipped darner. Unfortunately one of its wings seems to have gotten damaged either in the catching or examining, because when it finally flies away, it makes a buzzing sound and doesn't travel very straight.

That afternoon, I go to take the laundry off the line, when I see this looking me in the eye.

So I have to go get my camera to take its picture, and The Songs of Insects so I can try to identify it. It seems to be a bush katydid (which is a type of false katydid) of some type. I call E and Z to come see and when Z tries to grab it, it flies off.

When I get to the towel it has relocated to, I go and get the camera again and the book again. Maybe it's a Northern bush katydid, but to know for sure, I have to examine the top of the tail cover, and I don't feel I know this guy well enough to get that intimate with him.

When I get to the end of the laundry, I look up to see this bands of clouds striping the sky.

So I go and get the camera again and The Cloud Collector's Handbook. They seem to be some species of undulatus. Cirrus undulatus perhaps? How do you tell how high or low they are, I wonder?

Later, I sit down to try and do some writing, but Z calls me outside to show me the snake he caught, so I go get my camera again.

What's distracting you this summer?


  1. Ahh, but you are getting something done, right? It's all food for your writing--it all goes into that grey matter somewhere.

    I love the dragonfly. Awesome.

  2. Good distractions. Are katydids grasshoppers? Looks like a grasshopper...

  3. LSM--Sort of. In the Order Orthotera there are three families: crickets, katydids and grasshoppers. The family Tettigoniidae, the katydids (or long-horned grasshoppers) includes meadow katydids, conehead katydids, true katydids, false katydids (which is what I think this one is) and shieldback katydids. In the family Acrididae, the grasshoppers, (or locusts or short-horned grasshoppers), are the slant-faced grasshoppers and the band-winged grasshoppers. Grasshoppers have shorter antennae, katydids long ones. And that's probably way more than you ever wanted to know about grasshoppers or katydids.

  4. I love the picture of the katydid on the wheel/pulley/whatever it is - excellent depth of field exposure!

  5. Love it. There's a quote out there...oh, I'm not going to say it right, but something like, "These things we call distractions are really just life." And in your case, the best sort!

  6. I'm really struck by your photography in this post and the way your pictures complement your words. I can certainly see why you were distracted by all those little live things!


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