Aquatic Life

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Last week we returned from a family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard… where our internet connection was blissfully spotty. That’s why I never bothered to post the answer to the Name Another Insect entry.

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But my neighbor Liz was first to chime in correctly. This lithe, little insect pictured is an adult mayfly. I can’t speak with certainty to the species, but Lee Miller suggested Hexagenia limbata, and based on a web search, that’s a pretty good guess.

Mayflies may spend a year or more in an aquatic immature stage, but just a single day in adulthood. I suspect that our mudroom visitor was a male — females tend to die closer to their water source/mating ground. Either way, it’s likely that this one lived a lifetime in a day.

So there you go, bug brainiacs!

Before I return to farm fodder — yes, endless alliteration — here are a few more pictures of aquatic activity from our summer outpost. (Maisie was our ever-present canine lifeguard.)

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Name Another Insect

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Here’s a new entry for the recurring, “Name That Insect” contest. Martin spotted this funky fellow in our mudroom.

According to my secret entomology source, this one should be easy-peasy.

Here it is again, with my pudgy pinkie for scale:

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Think you know the answer? Post a comment or send me an email.

In other comment-related business, I have a correction to my recent post, “All Before 9 AM.” That entry included photos of a corn snake, which Martin boxed and left in our kitchen. However, a Funny Farm reader named Lee, pointed out that our reptile was not of the “corn” variety, but is actually a “gray rat snake.”

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Our snake

Photos suggest that Lee is right. Thanks for setting me straight!

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Eastern rat snake in Maryland

A Foolish Promise

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Back in February, when the kids and I visited Ireland, we couldn’t escape the topic of Donald Trump. In the car, we listened to radio news loops, detailing Trump’s quirky comments. In pubs, restaurants and shops, strangers queried us about The Celebrity Apprentice host’s political fame.

This was well before “Trump” and “presumptive nominee” shared a sentence. As of mid-February, six Republican candidates still jockeyed for the lead. And while Trump was holding the field at bay, most political pundits and media outlets treated his campaign as a farce. Trump wasn’t a real candidate; he was a titillating caricature, whose wacky remarks spiced-up a ho hum primary season. No one imagined he’d be ringleader in the presidential circus.

From my perspective, his campaign was fantastical. And on our drive to Dingle — prompted by another Donald soundbite — I declared the following:

“If Trump wins the presidency, we will move to Ireland.”

The kids lit up. You promise? they asked. I promise, I replied.

At the time, Trump had a better chance of walking on the moon than commanding the oval office.

But that was then… and this is now.

Trump’s presidential run is no longer groundless. And the kids haven’t forgotten my pledge. A couple days ago, they pondered a Republican win and lobbed out a bunch of questions:

Are we going to live with Auntie Sheep or will we have our own house? Will we move after the election or after inauguration? Can we bring Maisie? And what about the horses? Can we still go to sleep-away camp in West Virginia? Can my friends visit us in Ireland? 

I glibly answer their questions while pondering how to back-pedal out of a pinkie promise. We’ll have our own house; umm… I guess we’ll move after inauguration. Yes, we can bring Maisie, and maybe Rocky and Jazz, but not the other horses. We’ll see about sleep-away camp; and your friends can visit if they pay their own way… 

I never imagined I’d have to make good on a plan to relocate. Now I’m plotting a retraction.

Should Trump become the final one standing, I’ll renege on my decree and slather it with a heartfelt apology.

And if all else fails, I’ll pay them off.

Trump may become president, but cash is king.

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