Good Things Come In Small Packages

Check this critter out - Cheilfer cancroides

This little guy (and I do mean little – the ruler next to him marks out one centimeter!) is my newest “pet.” Ok, so he looks rather… well, scary instead of cuddly, and he isn’t really a pet per se because he’s a wild critter, and instead of living in a cage he has free rein to scurry about in the corner of the house where I found him, but hey, if millions decided to buy pet rocks in the ’60s can’t I have a pet…

Hmm. A pet… a pet… what IS that thing?

* insert pause whilst an email with this photo wings its way over the internet to my favorite bug person, Phillip (Phil) Pellitteri at the University of Wisconsin Insect Diagnostic Lab *

aHA! According to Phil (who is a walking treasure trove of knowledge about insects, and has kindly identified many a bug from mugshots I’ve sent his direction), it’s a pseudoscorpion (scientific name: Cheilfer cancroides). And this menancing looking little creature is a very good bug to have in one’s house! According to Phil,

“Pseudoscorpions are common but rarely seen. They are harmless, small (1/16-1/8 inch), tick-shaped critters with a large pair of pincers and lack the long tail and stinger of a true scorpion. Pseudocorpions are really beneficial because they feed on carpet beetles, ants, mites, small flies and other critters in the home. They are usually found in small numbers and spend most of their time hunting in closets and other quiet places. They cannot bite. …Pseudoscorpions can live for 2 years or more.”

Two YEARS? That little thing can live for two years? And it munches down pesky-type bugs without causing any harm to our abode or to us human occupants?

I gotta get me some more of these little critters!

Huh. If it’s going to join the menagerie, it needs a name. Let’s see, it’s really funky looking and acts mean in its public persona but is a really good guy underneath all that spiky armor.

Lemme think…

Got it!

I’ll call him Sting.

I wonder if he can sing…

“Bzzzzzzz…” or was that “Zzzzzz?”

Honkers Ahoy!

In one week, our temperatures have dropped from unseasonable highs to chiller-than-normal lows. We’ve had some heavy frosts, and the first of the tens of thousands of geese that will migrate through are flying overhead.

Sleepy Bee #1

Early in morning, the remaining blooms on our flowers are full of sleepy bumblebees, one to a flower.

Sleepy Bee #2

The bees have spent their night huddled inside the blossoms, caught far from their nests when dusk arrived the previous evening, and unable to fly safely home until the sun once again warms the chilled air.

Sleepy Bee #3

Winter is coming.

A Break From Our Regularly Scheduled Showers!

No damage here from Friday’s storms, thank goodness. I certainly feel for the towns in Michigan, Indiana and Florida which were badly damaged by tornadoes, and for the families who lost loved ones in the storms.

And now for a shocking local newsflash: it isn’t raining! Wow, we could get used to this… which is too bad, because it’s supposed to start raining again tonight.

Like that’s a surprise.

*sigh*

To cheer up my drenched spirits, I’m looking for blogs which regularly post cute photos of guinea pigs, the sort of photos that make you exclaim (if you’re female) “awwwwww!” or (if you’re male) “gack!” Even after searching through Technorati and Google, I haven’t found any “daily photo” type blogs that are devoted to piggies, so if you know of one, let me know. I’m in the mood for a good ol’ fashioned “awwwww, isn’t that piggy cute!” session.

There’s gotta be a “Daily Cavy” blog somewhere out there, right?

From the Frying Pan Into The Fire

How’s our roofing project going? Glad you asked. It just keeps getting better and better…

Wisconsin - your new Tornado Alley!

The part I like best about the tornado watch NOAA has issued? The warning about two-inch hail and 70 mph winds. Oh, yeah, that just made our day.

Wish us luck. I have a feeling, from watching the cloud formations outside and the current radar, that we’re in for a rough ride.

Can this get any better?

The Rainmaker

Double Rainbow - but could it please stop raining?

It’s still raining here. And raining. And raining.

We’ve noticed that there is a rather, well, strong correlation between Michael’s activities and the weather.

Michael needs to lay a concrete foundation for his new shop. On the scheduled day:

It rains.

He needs to dig an eighty-five foot long trench that’s three-feet deep, lay in conduit, and pull wiring to run power to his new shop.

It rains.

The village puts in new storm and sanitary sewers on our street, and in the process requires us to install a new mini storm sewer that connects our sump system into the storm sewers. That requires Michael to dig a 45′ long trench three feet deep.

It rains.

We get everything in place to install a new roof.

It rains.

Are we the only ones dectecting a pattern here?

Now, if we lived in, say, Seattle, this wouldn’t raise any questions. But where we live? Our county has been declared a federal disaster area for drought, and this is the fourth year in a row where we’ve had drought conditions.

It’s dry – except when Michael has to work on an outdoors construction project.

Michael is in the wrong profession. No doubt about it.

He’s a rainmaker.

Rainmaker: One who is believed to be capable of producing rain (American Heritage Dictionary).