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This post is brought to you by the color Blaze Orange and by the number 4: A hunter from Fairfax was shot last week by a hunter from Bolton who thought he was a bear. That sentence could be read a couple of ways, I suppose, but the article I read went on to say the man was shot in Huntington. He was actually shot in the abdomen, but the point (besides "make damn sure you're aiming at what you think you're aiming at before you pull the trigger") is that neither man was wearing orange. Nothing says " I'm not a bear!" better than a hat, vest or jacket with blaze orange on it -- other than shouting it real loud -- and, personally, I have never been shot while wearing my vest. For goodness sake, people, be safe out there! Wear orange in the woods because not even the 56th four-leaf clover of the year is any good against a rifle or shotgun.
If looks could kill. White baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) has frothy white flowers that offer no clue what its fruit look like. Also called "dolls eyes," the berries are poisonous to humans but not birds, which spread the seeds. Dolls eyes are cardiogenic, causing cardiac arrest and, potentially, death. I've read that they taste terrible, so the chances of eating enough to die from are slim, but I'll pass. Don't see these often.
Mushrooms in moose poop and the place I saw a moose today.
I've always admired the ability of trees to grow in unusual places, no matter where they sprout. I also admire that they sometimes extend the same courtesy to others.
Life and death in the tomato house. Most hornworms, upon discovery, are "gently" "relocated" to places they'll be "happier." When one is found looking sickly, however, it is allowed to stay where it is because, chances are, its days are numbered. Tiny braconids wasps lay their eggs just under the skin of hornworms, where the larvae hatch and feed on the living caterpillar, weakening it. The larvae then emerge and spin cocoons on the caterpillar's body, become adults, and take up a life of feeding on nectar. The hornworm dies. More little wasps = fewer caterpillars.
Of course, you can always just say "I don't know" but 1) Each of a dragonfly's four wings has its own set of muscles and nerves, allowing it to operate independently of the others. 2&3) The leading edge of each wing has a dark pane called a pterostigma, which is structural feature, believed to act as a counterweight to help control flapping. 4) Each wing also features a nodus (upper left), which acts as a one-way hinge and increases wing flexibility.