Micrommata virescens [Green Huntsman Spider]

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By Siga [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The green huntsman spider (Micrommata virescens) is a spider with a palearctic distribution, of the huntsman spider (Sparassidae) family. It does not build a web, and hunts insects in green vegetation, where it is well camouflaged. The green coloration is due to the bilin micromatabilin and its conjugates in haemolymph, interstitial tissues and the yolk of oocytes.

High-res pictures of arachnids → Arachniac

…The pattern, however, is inexorably downward and ends with the inflicting of the predicted, final curse of Deuteronomy 28: siege, conquest, and exile. At the end of II Kings, the last Israelite king is blinded, after witnessing the execution of his two sons, and what remains of the battered nation is carried into captivity in Babylon. The Deuteronomistic History is thus framed by genocide: the genocide Israel inflicts on its enemies at the start and the genocide its enemies inflict on Israel at the end. Both are the will and work of the Lord.

[God: A Biography]

green russula | Russula virescens

Although the ‘moldy-looking green patches’ that adorn the cap may be a turnoff, after a taste or two, ‘it will become one of your favorite edible mushrooms’… Ol’ Green Russ is, to most fungi aficionados, the best edible species found in the genus, and one of the easiest to identify… gills are white, spore print is yellowish to white; is found scattered about the ground under oaks and beeches, July through August… ‘It’s a mycological hassle to identify many species of the genus, but it’s easy to know if you have found a russula. Typically, russulas make white to yellow spore prints; they have dry, brittle flesh; their gills shatter easily; their brittle stems can snap like a piece of chalk; and they do not exude milk or fluids from the broken flesh. If you come upon a mushroom with these features, you can be pretty sure that you have found a russula’…

[The traditional concept of Russula virescens calls for a beautiful green russula with a quilted pattern on its cap surface, found under chestnuts and other hardwoods in Europe (the species was originally named in Germany) and North America. However, if you have paid much attention to what’s going on in the world of mushroom taxonomy these days, you will probably not be surprised to hear that the traditional concept turns out to be pretty inaccurate.

Russula virescens, it turns out, is strictly a European species; in North America ‘the virescens-crustosa group is much more complex than suspected and embraces at least a dozen taxa in the eastern US’ (Buyck & collaborators, 2006). Most of these DNA-defined species have yet to be published, but Russula parvovirescens, with its blue-green colors and very large patches, is one that can be fairly easily recognized without a sequencing laboratory. As for the rest, we have no choice but to call them ‘Russula virescens’ and ‘Russula crustosa’ for now, while we await further publications.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with hardwoods (but I have collected it under conifers with no hardwoods nearby); growing alone or gregariously; summer and fall; widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains, and occasionally reported in western North America.]

[Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic]

Hedeoma pulegioides

AKA mock pennyroyal, pudding grass, squaw mint, stinking balm, tickweed… grows in dry and sterile soils… NOT to be confused with the Old World pennyroyal, Mentha pulegium

[Nelson Coon]

‘Practically all violets are easy to grow if given conditions similar to those from which they come’ … clump-forming types may be divided almost at any time – post-blooming time is best… ‘all can be grown from seed without difficulty’… if push comes to shove, whole plants can be dug up and moved, ‘provided a good ball of soil is taken’…

[Edwin F. Steffek]


Carum carui.

The Common Caraway is a hardy, biennial plant; a native of various parts of Europe; and, to a considerable extent, naturalized in this country. The root is long and tapering, of a yellowish-white color, and about three-fourths of an inch in diameter near the crown or at its broadest part; the flesh of the root is white, fine-grained, with a flavor not unlike that of the carrot; the flower-stalks are put forth the second season, and are about two feet and a half in height, with numerous spreading branches; the leaves are finely cut, or divided, and of a deep-green color; the flowers are small, white, and produced in umbels at the ends of the branches; the seeds, which ripen quite early in the season, are of an oblong form, somewhat curved, furrowed, slightly tapering towards the extremities, of a clear olive-brown color, and pleasant, aromatic flavor and odor, - nearly eight thousand five hundred seeds are contained in an ounce, and they retain their vitality three years.

[Fearing Burr, The Field and Garden Vegetables of America]

An ointment made from the common ground-worms, which boys dig to bait fishes, rubbed on with the hand, is said to be excellent, when the sinews are drawn up by any disease or accident.

A gentleman in Missouri advertises that he had an inveterate cancer upon his nose cured by a strong potash made of the lye of the ashes of red oak bark, boiled down to the consistence of molasses. The cancer was covered with this, and, about an hour after, covered with a plaster of tar. This must be removed in a few days, and, if any protuberances remain in the wound, apply more potash to them, and the plaster again, until they entirely disappear: after which heal the wound with any common soothing salve. I never knew this to be tried.

[Lydia M. Child, The American Frugal Housewife]

»David Frum

I still can’t get past that NR led with Glenn Beck … It’s NR readers who were the prime targets/victims of Beck’s gold huckstering.

ZOOLANDER 2 Viral Clip - Youth Milk Commercial (2016) Kristen Wiig, Ben Stiller

In this brilliant, but slightly creepy, promo for the film, we’re invited to enter the House of Atoz “booty labia-tory” (beauty laboratory), where “special lotions are cooked up to spread all over your face…”

Donald Trump Floats New Campaign Strategy: Murder

Nothing can stop Donald Trump, according to Donald Trump—not even cold-blooded murder.

Michael Moore

Trump just now:“I could stand in the middle of 5thAve & shoot somebody & I wouldn’t lose any votes.” I actually did that once &missed my bus


And if elected, he will. Repeatedly.

…He’s literally telling people, to their faces, how fucking stupid they are, and they lap it up. Not even exaggerating—he’s calling them blind, dumb, followers beyond their own interests. And they applaud.

I swear to God if I didn’t know any better I’d think Trump was the greatest performance artist/satirist of our time.

A diet rich in fiber may not only protect against diabetes and heart disease, it may reduce the risk of developing lung disease, according to new research published online, ahead of print in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Cruz Forgets to Get Insurance, Blames Obama

Apparently Pope Francis Can’t Stand Internet Trolls Either

Arrest after Stockholm ‘thief’ punches and spits at mum

Michael Bloomberg Is Mulling a Presidential Bid

Perhaps while soaking in his $13,000 copper bathtub or perhaps while staring at his $62,400-per-week tank of tropical fish, Michael Bloomberg got an idea.

[23 Jan 2016]

crusty russula | Russula crustosa

The color of the caps are gray – unless they are rusty yellow, purple, brown, or yellow-green, ‘or a combination of any or all of these colors, and perhaps more’… at the same time, ‘the crusty russula is easy to know; its colorful crusty-looking cap surface gives it away’… the spore print is pale yellow-orange… similar to, and closely related to, the green russula (Russula virescens) – both are ‘fine to eat’…

[With its quilted cap, Russula crustosa looks like a pale, brownish yellow version of the green-capped Russula virescens. Close inspection, however, usually reveals a few differences beyond the color of the cap: the patchwork areas of Russula crustosa have sharper edges and are more clearly delineated than those of Russula virescens; there are usually more pleurocystidia in Russula crustosa (in Russula virescens they are scarce or absent); and the tips of the terminal cells in the pileipellis are generally more rounded in Russula crustosa.]

[Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic]

twinflower, deer vine | Linnaea borealis

‘The twinflower is a delicate and beautiful little vine from the wooded areas of Canada and the northern states. It is a half-woody plant with slender trailing stems reaching a length of about 20 inches, threading its way and often making a dainty but continuous mat over the forest floor’… flowers are always in pairs and found at the top of the stems, and are fragrant… the fruits, when mature, bring forth one oblong seed… the North American deer vine is considered a variety of the species found throughout northern Europe and Asia… it is ‘a waste of plants to attempt a planting’ anywhere but the cool, moist woods – particularly on ‘moist slopes where drainage is good and water does not collect. Also, it should have shade and an acid mold (pH 4 to 5) into which its roots can run and its woody stems clamber over mossy logs’… ‘Generally, I have found it under such trees as balsam firs, arbor-vitae, white and black spruces, mountain and red maples, yellow birches, mountain ash, and a few scattered aspens’… propagation is ‘not so difficult as one might think’ – don’t bother with seed; instead, take stem cuttings in spring or early summer and place in half sand and half peat, a third of the cutting exposed to air… keep moist, obviously…

[Edwin F. Steffek]

Sept. 9 [1851]. 2 AM. – The moon not quite full. To Conantum via road.

There is a low vapor in the meadows beyond the depot, dense and white, though scarcely higher than a man’s head, concealing the stems of the trees. I see that the oaks, which are so dark and distinctly outlined, are illumined by the moon on the opposite side. This as I go up the back road. A few thin, ineffectual clouds in the sky. I come out thus into the moonlit night, where men are not, as if into a scenery anciently deserted by men… No sounds but the steady creaking of crickets and the occasional crowing of cocks.

I go by the farmer’s houses and barns, standing there in the dim light under the trees, as if they lay at an immense distance or under a veil. The farmer and his oxen now all asleep. Not even a watch-dog awake. The human slumbers. There is less of man in the world.

The fog in the lowlands on the Corner road is never still. It now advances and envelops me as I stand to write these words… I hear the clock strike three.

[Thoreau, Journal]


European milkvetch. Astragalus hamosus.

A hardy, annual plant, indigenous to the south of Europe. Stem ten or twelve inches long, recumbent; leaves pinnate, with ten or twelve pairs of quite small leaflets; flowers yellow, produced five or six together at the extremity of quite a long stem, or peduncle; the seed-pods are about two inches long, nearly a fourth of an inch thick, peculiarly bent or curved, and contain ten or twelve brown seeds.

There is but one species or variety cultivated.

Sowing and Culture. - The plants may be started by sowing the seeds in a hot-bed in March, or the seeds may be sown in the open ground in May. They are cultivated in rows fourteen inches apart, and ten or twelve inches apart in the rows; and are also grown in groups, or hills, three or four together. The plants blossom in July, and the pods attain their growth in August and September.

Use. - The pods, in their green state, much resemble some descriptions of worms; and, like Caterpillars (Scorpiurus) and Snails (Medicago), are sometimes placed on dishes of salad to excite curiosity, or for pleasantly surprising the guests at table. Though inoffensive, they are seldom eaten.

[Fearing Burr, The Field and Garden Vegetables of America]

»Scott Kelly

You’re invited! 300 days of adit? Join me Sat., Jan 23, 4pm ET to

Stephen King

Voters beware: When you vote in right-wingers who believe government is the problem, what you get is–ta-da–Flint, Michigan.

Buddhist monk goes on bizarre tyre slashing rampage because he stood on an insect

By Agency

Julian Glew, 45, became angry and upset after crushing the bug and decided to vent his frustration by piercing 162 tyres over a few days.

[21 Jan 2016]