Balloon sculptures are the work of artist Masayoshi Matsumoto.

[Found here, and there are lots more here.]

The .Gif Friday Post No. 692 – Little Windy Dude, The Chase Scene & Fishbush

[Top .gif found here. 2nd created from this video; 3rd created from this (h/t Paul Y).]

The .Gif Friday Post No. 673 – Building Goats, Beggar Buster & Walking Snowflake Planthopper Nymph

[Found here and here, and the last one was created from this.]

The .Gif Friday Post No. 417 – Christmas Ditto, Two Bitches Laughing & A Swinging Carapace

Christmas Dittos


Grasshopper Nymph Shell

[Original image for the 1st one found here. 2nd from here. Third found in the missus’ Rosemary bush.]

Saturday Matinee – Iguana Love, Mantis Love, Don Shaffer & Elizabeth Cotten

Henry Lizardlover, born March 27, 1954 as Henry Schifberg, is a herpetoculturist, writer, and photographer who has lived with as many as 60 lizards in his home.

Iguana love [via].

Mantis love [via].

Don Shaffer was the inspiration behind Radar O’Reilly, a character in the popular novel, movie and TV series “M*A*S*H.” It disturbs me how Hollywood co-opts and distorts the true contributions of people of merit and presents them as caricatures, as they did with Shaffer, Joe Rochefort, Adrian Cronauer, and many others.

Elizabeth Cotten had an interesting self-taught finger picking style that’s difficult to play – unless it’s played left handed on a right-handed guitar (and yes, her last name is spelled “Cotten”).

90 years old, she was still pickin’.

Playing guitar was tough enough for a lefty like me. I was never proficient on guitar or bass, and could never hold a pick; however, I knew some fakes enough to fool some folks. Learning on a re-strung guitar is probably a worse handicap for a southpaw than just flipping it over and keeping the standard tuning. That way, if there’s a guitar handy, you just pick it up and blow the right-handers away (like Jimi Hendrix did).

Wish I’d figured it out way back when. Coulda, shoulda, woulda, all on the Saturday Matinee. Have a great weekend, folks.

Spittlebugs In The Rosemary

Spittlebug, Spittlebug
Does whatever a Spittlebug does…

…like suck on the missus’ rosemary bush and make little foamy things to hide its sorry-ass nymphy self.

There are spittlebugs in the rosemary. This is serious, at least according to the missus, but I looked into it. They make little foamy nests in the crooks of the stems to hide from predators and to keep from drying out, while they suck juices from the stems of the host plant. They are the nymph stage of froghoppers, and although they can do temporary damage to the host plant, they usually die off in a couple of weeks.

The nymph that I uncovered today was the shape of a small ladybug, about 1/16th of an inch long. It was black on the front and yellow on the rear – half and half. Treating the infestation means hitting the little foaming bastards with the hose, or just ignoring them.

To be truthful, that’s a TUBE Spittlebug in the picture. The spittlebug nymph that I examined today looks nothing like it. I’m sure I pissed him off when I got him on my fingernail to eyeball him, because the look he gave me back, well, let’s just say he wished he was bigger so he could kick my ass.

In any case, he got PWND big time, yet was released to foam again… somewhere else.

[Image found via teh google.]

My Dog Spot

Last night as I was doing my part to help fill up the local landfill, I spotted this little cute guy, obviously a stray. He was 1-3/4 inches long, and aside from twitching his antennae, wasn’t moving much. Since he was cold, I brought him in to warm up on the kitchen counter.

The missus wasn’t pleased. Bunkarina thought it was cool.

Haven’t seen one of these around in years. It’s a Potato Bug, more commonly known as a Jerusalem Cricket. They don’t prefer potatos, and they’re not native to Jerusalem, they don’t jump and they’re not crickets. They don’t chirp, but they do make mating sounds (listen here) that they “hear” with their feet.

If you spot a Potato Bug, be forewarned… they bite.

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