The Last Day(s) of Summer

What remains of the crayfish burrows after a mower goes by

What remains of the crayfish burrows after the mower goes by

September 22 – After a couple of weeks of no mowing we finally got down to the job of mowing grasshoppers and grass. We mowed for hours on Sunday and still have quite a bit to do today.

I think Chris encountered some of those dry ditch crayfish burrows while mowing. They put up those mud chimneys as they excavate, and the mower makes quite a thud when it hits them. You hardly ever see the crayfish as they stay underground, but I suppose if one poured some unpleasant fluid down into a burrow the occupant would evacuate speedily. We have quite a few of these things in some parts of our yard.

Conehead grasshopper

Conehead grasshopper

During my mowing stint, I disturbed a cone head grasshopper, a fairly large green grasshopper with a pointed head and biting jaws. They usually fly for a distance, land, and then burrow through the grass so they are not at the point they landed on when one goes to search. This one I caught, and Chris took pictures of it. It was hard to restrain and still have it look natural, but finally it settled down for a bit. It was a female with a long ovipositor for laying eggs.

It appears that a deer has been eating the lower fruit on our smaller giant Asian pear tree. It is all gone, and there were a number of leaves and broken twigs lying on the ground below. Oh well, the pears are mostly somewhat mis-shapen and knobby, so no big loss, I guess. Nothing is eating our ground cherries, though, and there are lots of them for us. I collected a lot today, and finally just quit and figured we had enough. Also gathered a quantity of small orangish mushrooms growing on a log or section of old telephone pole lying in our garden area, and tried to identify them but the only kind that were similar were considered poisonous, so I tossed them into the garbage bucket. Disappointing, as they looked quite nice.

Hope everyone had a happy last day of summer and is enjoying the first day of fall today. Have a great week ahead! – DALE

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