WNC Citizens Blog

Honeybee in a Squash Blossom

8/01/2010 09:48:00 AM
Honeybee in a Squash Blossom Photo by Bobby Coggins

I took this photo in my Square Foot Garden this morning of a Honeybee in a Squash Blossom. I think that I've finally adjusted to using my Kodak Z950 at close range.

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Pollination Traffic Jam

7/24/2010 02:29:00 PM
Pollination Traffic Jam by Bobby Coggins
Who knew that insects would wait in line for their turn at the spigot of a Squash Blossom?
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Discarded Cicada Skin

7/24/2010 08:49:00 AM
Discarded Cicada Skin, Brood XIX (13 year) noted in Macon County, North Carolina on the morning of 7-24-2010

The above photo is of a discarded Cicada skin I noticed on the railing of my stairs this morning.

It's that time of year, or if you're a Brood XIX Cicada, that time of your 13 year life cycle when you must crawl out of the ground, molt, eat, sing, mate, lay eggs, then die. Only this one didn't hit the snooze button and wait until 2011, when the rest of his/her brood will be emerging. 

I did a little research via the Internet, and have surmised that it may belong to a brood of Cicadas known as 'The Great Southern Brood' that last emerged in 1998 and will be back in 2024. This is the only brood that has a known emergence in Macon County within five years of 2011. It is a straggler because it has emerged a year early. (Stragglers can emerge two years either side of the main brood).

Brood XIX Map I swiped from www.magicicada.org

Brood XIX is the largest (by geographical extent) brood of 13-year cicadas. This brood is also notable for including the species M. neotredecim and exhibiting a striking pattern of reproductive character displacement between M. neotredecim and M. tredecim (Cooley et al. 2001; Marshall and Cooley 2000; Simon et al. 2000).

Map Source: Magicicada

After years of living in underground tunnels, where they feed on the juices of roots,  thousands of periodical cicadas emerge from the earth, as if by a predetermined signal, shed their nymphal skins, and spread out through the nearby trees and bushes. 

The cicada's precise but prolonged time schedule has perhaps evolved as a method of survival for the masses. When a large population of juicy insects appears on the scene, predators make the most of the situation, but simply cannot eat all the insects. Thus, a significant number of cicadas live to reproduce.The periodical cicada is able to outlast and escape most of its enemies.

Any cicadas that merge near my house may have a rough go of it this year...due to the family of squirrels I have living in my Chinese Necklace Poplar tree. (A type of tree I do not recommend growing within 45 feet of your house or underground pipes...but that is a story for another day).

I haven't heard of other reports of emerging cicadas locally.
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Evening Moonrise

7/24/2010 04:38:00 AM
Evening Moonrise by Bobby Coggins

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Purple Peppers, Green Beans and Yellow Squash

7/22/2010 09:14:00 AM
A purple Pepper on my Chinese Five Color pepper plant

A purple pepper grows on my Chinese Five Color pepper plant. Can Peter Piper be far behind?

Dark red Kidney Beans starting to fill out

Technically, these beans are green right now, but these are Dark Red Kidney Beans, a shell bean that I'll be using for soups this fall and winter.

A yellow crook-neck squash hidden in the blooms

A teeny tiny squash grows in the midst of blooms that will, I hope, be the forerunners of many more squash destined for my table this summer.

Tomato cutting

I read that tomatoes can be vegetatively propagated from cuttings. This is a Cherokee Purple I am testing that out on.

One of the squares in my Square Foot Garden

One of the squares in my Square Foot Garden

One of the squares in my Square Foot Garden

Another one of the squares in my Square Foot Garden

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Lightning Strike

7/19/2010 04:38:00 PM

A lightning strike I captured 4 miles NE of Franklin, NC on July 18, 2010.

A lightning strike I captured 4 miles NE of Franklin, NC on July 18, 2010.

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Baby Bell Pepper

7/18/2010 09:07:00 AM
A teeny tiny green Bell Pepper in my Square Foot Garden
This little fella has been growing the last few days in my Square Foot Garden. 

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Bee in a Squash Blossom

7/15/2010 10:46:00 AM
A bee in the process of pollinating a squash blossom

A bee caught in the act of helping me have some squash to fry in a few weeks!

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On The Clock

7/12/2010 06:07:00 AM
Workers fasten cable to the cupola atop the old Jackson County Courthouse in Sylva, NC on July 1, 2010. Photo by Bobby Coggins.

This is a photo I took a couple of weeks ago in Sylva, NC as workers prepped the cupola atop the old Jackson County Courthouse for removal during the course of their renovations for the new Jackson County library. More photos and video of that are on my news and politics blog, Thunder Pig.
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Upcoming Events

2010 Macon County Fair
Sept 15-29, 2010
Macon County Fairgrounds in Franklin, NC



This used to be one of several political commentary blogs I ran until I got tired of updating several blogs, and consolidated them on Thunder Pig, and moved the group blogs to a Ning network.

These photos are a reflection of where I am throughout the day, and a celebration of life west of the Balsam mountain range in western North Carolina.


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