photographers in kentucky

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7/20/17                                     Dogbane Beetle      

Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Chrysomeloidea (Long-horned and Leaf Beetles)
Family Chrysomelidae (Leaf Beetles)
Subfamily Eumolpinae
Tribe Eumolpini
Genus Chrysochus
Species auratus (Dogbane Beetle)
Explanation of Names
Chrysochus auratus (Fabricius 1775)
auratus = ‘golden’
Numbers
8-11 mm
Identification
Oblong shape. Shiny, iridescent.
Range
transcontinental (ME-WA to GA-AZ)(1)
Food
hosts: Apocynaceae, incl. Apocynum cannabinum and Apocynum androsaemifolium; also reported in asso. w/ common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca, Asclepiadaceae) (2)
Life Cycle
They mate and lay eggs through the summer. They lay eggs on leaves and stems of host plants and nearby vegetation in masses of egg capsules
larvae are obligate root feeders; adults eat leaves of larval host

5

The Ghost Ship of Kentucky

Tucked away in a small creek just a bit downstream from Cincinnati, Ohio rests a 114 year old ghost ship known as the Celt. It simply fascinates me the history that this one ship has and upon first glance of this rusted hulk you would never imagine so. Originally setting sail back in 1902 as a luxury yacht of a wealthy railroad executive, Celt was 180 feet long and powered by steam. The ship changed hands in 1917 when the US Navy started renting small, quick vessels to outmaneuver German U-boats during World War I. It was during this time that it was renamed the USS Sachem (SP-192) and was used as a coastal patrol boat after being outfitted with depth charges and machine guns. One of the most notable things about it’s life during WWI is that it was loaned to Thomas Edison while he conducted US Government funded experiments onboard in New York as head of the Naval Consulting Board.

After the end of WWI the Sachem changed owners a couple of times before landing back in the hands of the Navy for $65,000 in 1942. The Navy then changed the name to USS Phenakite (PYc-25) and used the vessel to patrol the waters off of the Florida Keys. Phenakite was used for a brief time after WWII to train soldiers to test sonar equipment before being decommissioned and returned to the previous owner in 1945. Subsequently it was sold to Circle Line of NYC and renamed Sightseer but was soon renamed Circle Line V and served as a tour boat until 1983. In 1986 a Cincinnati local named Robert Miller bought the ship for a mere $7,500 and before leaving the New York Harbor it had a cameo in Madonna’s video for ‘Papa Don’t Preach’. After traveling up the Hudson, through the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi and into the Ohio River, the ship settled in a small creek next to Miller’s property in Northern Kentucky where it has rested since.

3

7/1/17                           Oak Treehopper  

Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (Free-living Hemipterans)
Superfamily Cicadoidea (Cicadas, Leafhoppers, and Treehoppers)
Family Membracidae (Treehoppers)
Subfamily Membracinae
Tribe Hoplophorionini
Genus Platycotis
Species vittata (Oak Treehopper)

Explanation of Names
Platycotis vittata (Fabricius 1803)
Size
♀ 9-13 mm, ♂ 9-12 mm(1)
Identification
Grayish spotted with yellow, or turquoise with red stripes and red eyes. With or without a thorn-like horn.
This species may be easily distinguished from all our other species of membracids (except Umbonia and Lephopelta) by its very short posterior tarsi. It usually has a long compressed pronotal horn which varies greatly in length and may be entirely absent. The wing venation shows considerable variation. Green body color, mottled or speckled with orange. (Dozier 1920)
Hornless and horned variants:

Range
Canada to Brazil(1)
Its Nearctic range is in a horseshoe shape, taking in the mid-Atlantic states, the southeastern states, the Deep South, Arizona, California, and Oregon. Present in some midwestern states such as Ohio, but lacking in the Plains states and Rockies.
Habitat
Forests and forest edges, parks, and anywhere Oak trees are found. Occasionally found on other trees, but these individuals were probably just resting on those non-Oak trees.
Season
In Central Texas, primarily Mar-May(2)
Food
Fairly common on deciduous and evergreen oaks, Quercus spp.
Life Cycle
Hatching occurs in Spring in the South, and in late Spring in the North. Larva pass through five instars, and adults and larva form aggregations along oak twigs of up to 100 individuals. Females seem to exhibit protective behavior, keeping predators away from the young.
Nymphs:

Remarks
Does almost no damage to the host trees—leaves only a few twig scars from oviposition.
There are four named varieties and several other color variations, and some individuals lack the pronotal horn.
See Also
P. minax is a smaller, pale yellow species which is found in California on oak. (Dozier 1920)

Umbonia crassicornis - so. FL & so. TX, on ornamental and fruit trees

[Photo of a handwritten note resting against a log. The note has raindrops on it. The writing is as follows.]

Cloudy skies, overcast days,
Rain, and tears -
They serve a purpose
And are valuable
Just like the sky
And the person
Who sheds them

[Image of a spiraling snail shell cracked dirt and rocks]

Pour into me
Is this not but some warped dream
Spiraling out of jurisdiction?
‘Cross this crevice
We break
And bake
And thirst
Not for salty water
Like the tears
Like the surface leaks
But for new springs
To well up from the depths
To surge

And, oh my
I’ve seen your ripples
When you’re flowing
When you’re rising
Like the mountainside
Your vine-grip in my core
Magnifying
Illuminating
Exposing
My shadows
My veins
Let me not hide
In my shell
On your cracked, dry skin
Anymore
Pour into me

And we both shall thrive

[A large sheet of rock with an X-shaped crack, water spots, and a glint of light behind the cross.]

You’ve laid
Your body
At my feet,
Stripped
To the scars

Your naked stone
An offering to me.

I’ll sharpen my metal.
For, the spade’s tongue
Craves the X.

And you’ve burried
Treasure
Beneath.


Inspired by a conversation with @the-stranger-on-a-train

[Image of a golden, bubbling stream. The outline forms the shape of a mountain range]

I’ve seen your ripples
When you’re flowing
When you’re rising
Like the mountainside
-Pour into me II