This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Shall we talk about the birds and the beetles?

The barn swallows that have nested in my garage again this year now have babies that are able to fly. However, the parents remain fiercely protective and dive at anyone who comes near. They are both funny and annoying. Below is one of the babies. The parents do not sit still long enough to photograph.
Especially annoying is the mess they they make on the floor beneath the nest. However, they do eat bugs, so maybe there are fewer flies and mosquitoes because of them.

 I noticed some funny bugs on Joe Pye Weed.
 I was rather surprised that I was able to find them on the Internet. They have several common names, but only one scientific name, Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus. They are useful bugs beetles and do no damage.

After several weeks during which we have not gotten significant rain and yards and fields have dried out a bit, we got plenty on Thursday. My rain gauge said that we got about half an inch in the morning and about three in the late afternoon. It was enough to back up the sewer and make me take defensive action to protect my basement. (I am on the waiting list for the city to fix the problem, but I guess it will be a long wait.) The downtown weather station said we got almost half an inch in the morning and another two inches in the late afternoon. The airport station recorded only a bit more than two inches for the entire day.

Then to top it off, the storm that blew through from 3:00 to 4:30 on Friday morning dropped about another inch according to both official weather stations as well as my rain gauge. I need to dump my rain gauge; with 4.5 inches in it, it is almost full.

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