Family

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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What’s Up, In Pictures

 

We are about to emerge from the log jam of April and May, and I have a few minutes to post some pictures snapped in recent weeks. When last I left you, Cayden was duct-taped to a cart in the driveway. Since then:

We returned to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, which I described four years ago here. It is a massive sheep spectacle-meets-craft fair, with a healthy dollop of Americana.

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Hadley and I kicked off our respective softball seasons. On a Saturday in April, we celebrated at a sun-soaked lunch.

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Since then, virtually all of our games have been rained out.

 

Last weekend, we partied at the Potomac Hunt Races. On that day, it didn’t rain, but the wind blew like the dickens. Still, lots of fun for the adults:

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Kids, too:

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Between races, Hadley, Cayden and crew hawked decorative horseshoes and pulled in a nice profit.

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Back on the farm, we discovered one of Blackie’s relatives inside the bar. Our cat Olive has also been wriggling through a narrow gap beneath the door, so it appears that cat & snake are tag-teaming the rodent population inside. Cool.

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And finally, Felix, our semi-feral cat, continues to defy the textbook prototype of a barn cat, by getting fatter and fatter. His stomach nearly touches the ground and mouse-sized mats ride his back, because he’s too tubby to groom himself. More on that later.

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Postscript —  I can’t conclude with that blubbery feline. Frequent storms and volatile weather do yield some nice sunsets, like this one last night.

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A Quick Tip

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I’m really too busy right now to post a post.

Too busy to bother editing a sentence with the word “post” in it twice.

But I don’t want to deprive other parents who are desperate to corral their kids and get some work done. It’s important to keep the community abreast of new ideas and solutions:

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I can’t take credit for this… this… whatever “this” is… I wandered out of the house and discovered the boy in this state of confinement. (Actually, this was Martin’s brainchild. The other kids were clambering to be next.)

Need I highlight the virtues of this invention?

It requires minimal supplies. It offers containment, yet ease of portability.

Just be sure to rest the child on his back, rather than face down… especially if you intend to leave the dollified kid unattended with siblings nearby.

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