captpackrat: (Bunny morning)
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captpackrat: (Bugs)
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More Pics

Aug. 5th, 2012 09:20 pm
captpackrat: (Camera)


Decorative heater grate


Everything you need for a perfect date night... movie tickets and lube


PINKY!


Goat face


Horns are tasty!


Closeup of a katydid


Looks like Disney has gotten into the adult novelty business.


This picture of a metal roof makes my eyes go all woogey.


Just taking a break


And here I've been giving hugs away for free like an idiot.


Valve math fail


They showed me the Car Fox


Now there is a vehicle with ground clearance!


I love this license plate!

captpackrat: (Homer AAAAAAH!)
Clicky to zoom.








This monster is just outside my bedroom window.  It is a female Argiope aurantia, the Corn Spider or Black and Yellow Garden Spider



Getting these photos was a real bother.  It's so humid outside my camera fogged up the instant I stepped outside, so had to leave my camera on the deck for a while to acclimate.  Then I had to hurry with the pictures because of a sudden thunderstorm.
captpackrat: (Camera)
We've been in need of a proper animal trailer for a while.  I was amazed just how hard is can be to find one.  We were initially looking at horse trailers, but the reasonably priced models were too small for our alternate purpose, hauling our enormous zero-turn mower.  They also had features we had no use for, like a tack room.  We finally settled on a Titan Challenger stock trailer.  Brand new, it was $5500.
 

I spent most of today building a ramp for the trailer.  We had a pair of metal ramps to load vehicles into the truck, but they're not really suitable for animals.  I took a couple sheets of 3/4" plywood and hinged them together to make a solid folding ramp that sits on top of the metal ramps.  It should be able to support a full-size horse.  I still need to attach some handles to make the ramp easier to carry.

No pictures of the ramp, because I forgot.


There was a grasshopper sitting on the fender of the trailer, so I snapped a closeup photo.  Clicky to zoom in.



When I opened the garage door the other day, I found this group of harvestmen.  I think they're plotting against me.

Bug pics

Jul. 8th, 2011 04:44 pm
captpackrat: (Bugs)

Butterfly closeup (clicky to zoom in)


Catterpillar closeup.   These guys are hard to photograph because they never sit still.


Spider waiting on the doghouse.


Hardcore bugsex!  Avert your eyes, children!
captpackrat: (Poison!)
I found a huge nest of baby lady bugs outside.  Normally that would be a good thing, but last winter we had a REALLY bad lady bug infestation inside the house, so I wanted to nip this in the bud.

I didn't want to use anything too terribly toxic, because it's outside and the sheep or goats might get to it.  We've got a bottle of poison specifically designed for use on animals.  It contains permethren, an artificial pyrethroid, which are generally harmless to mammals (except cats).  I noticed the box brags that the spray has a baby-powder scent.  Then I noticed in the warnings that you're not supposed to inhale the vapors.

If you're not supposed to be smelling it, why make it a pleasant baby powder scent?

Zombiepedes

Oct. 1st, 2010 12:38 am
captpackrat: (Homer AAAAAAH!)
We've been having a serious invasion of millipedes lately.  Millipedes are harmless to humans, they're not poisonous, they don't bite or sting, and they don't eat furniture, books, human food or anything else usually found inside a home.  When they get inside a house, it's by accident and they usually don't live long; millipedes like cool, dark, wet environments, something most homes are not.

For several years now, I'd see the occasional millipede inside the house, but they were fairly rare.  Until the past week.  This year has been unusually wet, which probably accounts for the HUGE numbers of millipedes (and other aquatic insects like mosquitos) that I've been seeing outside.  And now that it's fall, it's time for them to migrate.  That means a dramatic increase in the number of millipedes that have wandered into the house.  Prior to this week, I was finding maybe a millipede every few weeks or months at most.  Now I've been dispatching dozens in a single day.  And there are hundreds more outside.

Stepping on them isn't very effective, because they like to hang out in corners so I can only get them with the edge of my shoe, however their exoskeleton is strong enough to withstand that.  I can only squish them if I catch them in the open.

While waiting for the dogs to do their business, I saw dozens of the darned bugs crawling around on the steps.  I tried stepping on them, but it wasn't helping much and there were more bugs than I could stomp.  Then I saw a tool for working with electric fence wire lying on the steps.  The edge was a bit sharp, so I tried pressing it against the middle of one of the millipedes.  Sure enough, it sliced the bug clean in two...

And then the head end started crawling off like nothing happened!  AUGH!  ZOMBIEPEDES!
captpackrat: (Bugs)
When I came home, I noticed a large grasshopper in the kitchen porch.  It was clearly alive, but it wasn't trying very hard to get away.  Then I noticed it had something wrong with it's back leg.  It was either injured or deformed.  I didn't want to leave it on the porch, and didn't have the heart to step on it, so I scooped it up with a shovel and tossed it high into the air outside....

It tumbled slowly end over end as it arced through the air, until it finally fell into the grass.

As God as my witness, I thought grasshoppers could fly.
captpackrat: (Homer AAAAAAH!)


A Plume Moth, possibly Hellinsia homodactyla.  They're sometimes called "airplane moths", for obvious reasons.  I couldn't get the camera to focus through the glass for a picture of his underside, but it held still while I went outside and took a macro photo of his dorsal side.

Moths are a lot harder to identify than butterflies.

More pics

Aug. 3rd, 2010 09:14 pm
captpackrat: (Camera)

A moth landed on the window of my car, so I snapped a closeup photo.  Click for full size.


  
I was driving around some back roads trying to get back to the highway when I came across this railroad bridge.  The two center support pylons are stone, the rest are made of wood.  And yes, apparently this bridge is still used.  I thought it was quite photogenic, so I stopped and snapped some photos.
captpackrat: (Nosey)

You never know where they'll be hiding....



I guess this explains how they're getting so dirty all the time.  And I just gave them a bath a couple days ago after they came into the house caked in mud.



Looks like this hackberry butterfly has gotten lucky more than once.  I guess those eye spots really do help distract predators.
captpackrat: (Hiding in the plants)

I believe these are Clouded Sulphur butterflies (Colias philodice).

Bugs

May. 29th, 2010 09:09 pm
captpackrat: (Gasp!)
I didn't realize just how important that bug zapper is.  The bulbs are failing, causing the thing to arc and flicker and generally sound not good, so I unplugged it.

It's been off for about three days and the place is absolutely swarming with bugs.  I just sprayed myself with Off and tried to go outside, then I probably looked like an insane man trying to swat at all the bugs that were all over me.  I just wanted to spend the evening on the front steps, listening to some music and playing with the goatlets, but the bugs sure put the kibosh on that real quick.

I managed to dig up one spare bulb from the old bug zapper, and there should be another, but I can't find it, so I guess I have to go out tomorrow and buy another.  This zapper takes two bulbs and both appear to be failing/failed.
captpackrat: (Camera)

Goatmobile!  Clicky for full size goats.

Gotta love living in a rural area.  Someone joked to the driver of the pickup, "I see you don't let your girlfriends ride up front."


 
Cadbury Clucking Bunny plushie I picked up before Easter.  When you squeeze her paw, she clucks like the bunny in the Cadbury cream egg commercials.



This bug got stuck in the twists of a compact florescent light bulb and dessicated.  It was extremely brittle when I removed it, as evidenced by the broken leg.  I think it's some sort of crane fly.



The tire that blew out on my SO's car.  You can see the spot where it blew out at about 8 o'clock on the tire.
captpackrat: (Argh!)
It's been pretty chilly out the past week or so, but today it jumped into the 70s and the bugs suddenly came out with a vengeance.  So far I've killed at least 87 132 flies inside the house.  Eighty-Seven!!!  One Hundred Thirty Two!!!!! WTF?  There's also a few dozen ladybugs inside as well.

The bugs hang around outside the doors and as soon as someone opens one, they come pouring in like a dam burst.  The sticky fly strips on the porch are totally covered; I guess I need to put up some more.

Fortunately temps are supposed to drop to near freezing tonight, so hopefully that, plus my skillful use of the flyswatter, will take care of the problem.

At least it's not grasshoppers.  My roommate who's lived here for quite a few years tells me one year the grasshoppers were so bad, they started eating the metal window screens!  I think I'll take 87 flies over millions of metal-chomping locusts, thank you.

captpackrat: (Farm)
Most of the bugs seem to be gone.  The floor of the porch is covered with bug corpses.  Yeesh, what a mess!


It's after midnight here.  I stepped outside just now and the farmer who owns the next field over is still out there with his tractor, harvesting his corn.  I suspect a lot of the farmers around here don't actually own their own equipment (at least, not the BIG stuff like combines) but either rent or have some kind of co-op sharing system.  They get to use the equipment for only so many days, so if they're running behind they must have to work late into the night.

captpackrat: (Aaaaaaa!)
It's been pretty cold the past week or two, but today was quite warm, up in the 70's.  The bugs have absolutely exploded outside.  There's several dozen flies buzzing around on the porch, but it's the ladybugs that are the real problem.  There are several hundred ladybugs just on the porch.  There are clouds of them zipping around outside.  And they're somehow getting through the weatherstripping on the front door so there's a couple dozen ladybugs crawling around the walls and ceiling in the living room.  I don't particularly want to kill them, because ladybugs are a beneficial insect.  Hopefully the weather will take care of them naturally, it's supposed to be much cooler and rainy the next few days.

At least it's not mosquitoes.

captpackrat: (Camera)

Goat Heaven

 
Mantis perched on a shovel handle.  The handle is at least an inch in diameter.

Hovergoats

Aug. 28th, 2009 01:59 pm
captpackrat: (Camera)


A hoverfly, not hovering.

Despite their black and yellow coloration, hoverflies are not related to bees or wasps and are totally harmless to most animals.  As larva, some species of hoverfly prey on aphids, while as adults, they feed on nectar and pollinate flowers.




That's not a snack treat!

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Captain Packrat

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