October Rain

October 23rd, 2008

Awoke to a cloudy darkness that gave way to heavy rain this morning.  It will be with us most of the day so the outside projects will wait.  I know it looks so dismal, but for some reason I enjoy rainy days… mostly.  Of course one time we lived near Seattle and had 96 days straight of rain! That’s a bit much.  Missouri rain is often intermittent, heavier and then gone almost as quickly as it comes. But today the storm system will pass slowly.

I think rainy days help provide a reason to relax inside or catch up on things we’ve put off for a while.  Of course it makes travel a mess, and next week we’re due for our first real frost and freeze.  Glad it’s not Halloween today.  I think three out of the last four Halloweens were cold and rainy here.  Hopefully it will be a decent night for the kids next week, and thank goodness it’s on a Friday this year. 

Rainy October day in Missouri

Oh, another bug question to figure out. Beetle Doc are you still around?!  I found this “nest” of some type when cutting up that oak tree the other day.  It’s very fibrous, with a small, dime-sized opening at the top and what appears to be some type of eggs or balls inside.  Is it an insect gall? A spider nest?!  I’m not sure what else it could be, but I laid it aside in the bushes.

Insect nest or gall

We still have a few things to finish up outside on the pre-winter checklist, so this weekend will be a good time for that.  Up until today I’ve been working on so many different projects, but sometimes I don’t pay enough attention to what the Yellow Lab is up to!  I caught him about to go for a swim in the pond a couple days ago.  I forget how much he loves water, and when I’m not looking he goes right in.   That must be his way of telling me we don’t train enough.  He’s two years old now by the way.  I swear he looks right through me…

Yellow Lab in October ready for a swim

5 Responses to “October Rain”

  1. R. Sherman

    Is it a hummingbird’s nest?


  2. You’ve stumped me once again. If I had to guess, I would say R. Sherman has a pretty good guess.

    We are just on the leading edge of it today. I’m guessing we will get plenty of rain out of the deal too.

    In some stroke of genius, our local law office decreed Halloween will be on Monday the 27th this year? Friday was deemed unsafe, Thursday and Tuesday had other events scheduled and Wednesday interferred with church. Every other town in a 100 mile radius has theirs on the 31rst. Lots of people are saying they are going on the 31rst regardless. I’m not sure what we are going to do.

  3. Hi R.- It may very well be a hummingbird nest, but seems even smaller than they are. The hummers are gone south for the year, but I’ll take another look. Great guess!

    Ed- I didn’t know a local law agency could simply reschedule an event like Halloween! I don’t know why Friday is unsafe beyond more drivers on the road. Interesting though- good luck, maybe you can go twice :)

  4. beetle_doc

    When I first saw the “nest”, I thought it might be some sort of silk worm cocoon, possibly Polyphemus. The eggs or balls in your description kind of through me, however I guess it is possible that what your are seeing is pieces of the pupal exoskeleton left over after the moth emerged.

  5. field natural history teacher

    I agree with beetle doc that it is a polyphemus moth cocoon that has hatched. These cocoons are woven together with silk so they are very tough and last a long time after the moth emerges. So, they are often used as shelter by other insects and spiders. The eggs or balls that you mention could be many things. Perhaps spider egg masses that were laid inside, or possibly ant larvae or pupae like in the link below, though I would think you would have seen the ants scurrying out or crawling around inside if it were an ant nest, so maybe not. https://bugguide.net/node/view/373410

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