squirrel pee and alder borer

Remember how a few weeks ago I was yearning for something new to happen on my way through the Reed canyon? Yesterday I had just come down the slope from the street to the canyon floor when the bleeding-heart plant next to me started rustling. I leaned closer to see what little critter or bird was in there, then saw that the noise was coming from water drops hitting the leaves. It was a cloudy, still morning; had a rain shower started? But when I looked up, all the droplets were falling from one tree branch. I stepped back to get a better look, and confirmed: I’d almost been peed on by a squirrel 30 feet up. So that’s new.

At a trail junction a mother and daughter were staring at something I couldn’t see. “What are you looking at?” I stage-whispered, not wanting to blunder through and scare whatever it was. It turned out they were looking at the thimbleberry bush right in front of them, where one of these perched on a leaf:

None of us knew what it was, but the internet told me later it’s a banded alder borer. (Photo by Patrick Loes for forestryimages.org.)

When I passed the bee tree, it was very active and I could smell it! Like honey plus sap.

A kingfisher flew down the canyon on the other side of the water. I was looking through gaps in the greenery and couldn’t see it for long, but I could hear that rattling call that I always try to remember for the future.

Last weekend I hardly got out for exercise at all, and it made me restless and moody. I realized it was like I was tapering, but there wasn’t even a race to give it a point. Also in the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reading race reports with renewed interest. I think I’m ready to–and need to–ramp up the running again. Sang is going to be working most evenings for the next couple of months, so I have all sorts of plans for after-work writing and workouts. We’ll see.

2 Comments

  1. Jim Keener August 21, 2012

    There was a border in poplar trees in Texas. Same color, but big. About three inches long. And shaped like a shield, a shield with two pointed ends. One of the most beautiful insects I’ve seen.

    This was in a poplar grove grown for protection from the wind in Hale Center, Texas – near Lubbock.

  2. Jim Keener August 21, 2012

    I meant borer, not border. Damn these Republican keypads.

Comments are Disabled