We were supposed to get a bunch of rain yesterday in advance of hurricane Kyle so we didn't get out for a bike ride. Instead we went for a walk and found a few interesting things.
I also thought the round marks on this tree limb were rather interesting. They remind me of the craters on the moon:
Close to where I live is an office building with sunflowers out front. Of course they're hugs and almost ready to disperse their seeds but I was so focussed on checking out the bugs on the plant I forgot to take a pic of the flowers themselves.
Ants are such incredible animals. They are farmers, shepherds, builders, and soldiers. I don't know which species are in the above pictures, but these ants are shepherds. They shepherd the leaf-hoppers, milk them for their honey-dew, and also protect them from other predators. The leaf-hoppers drink sap from plants and are actually a pest, though not on a grand scale, and the ants then take their excrement. Apparently, if any of the leaf-hoppers get eaten by a predator or blown off the plant by wind, the ants will replace the missing ones with leaf-hopper larvae. So you can add nursery attendant to the list of jobs that ants do. Cool.
The last pic, I believe, is an assassin bug. I will have to wait for a positive ID from someone who knows more than I about these things. It made me think it was a New Mexico import, though, with the pattern on its back.
So now, we wait for Hurricane Kyle to land this evening. 5 years ago this weekend, Hurricane Juan hit the Maritimes and left a path of destruction in its wake. 8 people were killed, including an EMT who was on the job at the time. It was another one of those times when the best of people came through, though. Thousands were without power for up to weeks at a time, massive neighbourhood BBQs were held because of all the food in people's fridges and freezers going bad, and as power was restored, sometimes one house at a time, people were opening up their homes for others to come in for a shower and a hot meal. I was without power for a week and camped out at my folks' place for a night and my co-worker, Lorna's house for a night.
Anyway, it looks like Kyle will pass just west of the city and wreak havoc on the Annapolis Valley. I know the farmers in the Valley have been out harvesting as much fruit from the trees and crops from the fields as they can for the past two days in anticipation. The Wookie and I will tackle another walk today before it gets too blustery. And I'll keep my fingers crossed that we don't have any trees come down on our building like we did with Juan.
I have batteries, water, a flashlight and candles so I'm ready.