A week or so ago I posted about some odd flavors of gum. More recently I have posted pictures from Paint Bank, Virginia. Now to combine these two exciting topics... The gum flavors available in the store at Paint Bank.
As promised the beetle from the last Paint Bank post has been identified. It is a red-headed ash borer (Neoclytus acuminatus).
And now some more stuff.
Paint Bank is in the mountains of Virginia, not too far from the West Virginia line. It is in the middle of nowhere, and bills itself as such. It is a neat little place to visit, and has a general store with restaurant that is sooo worth visiting. http://www.paintbankgeneralstore.com/
I probably will post again about this little town, but for now...
Lynchburg, Virginia is a historical town founded in 1786, and thus has a lot of interesting architecture and, well, history. One of the big points of the town is that it is a rail hub, and you can't get through it without seeing some trains.
I have no intention in this post to try to capture all the history of the place, but just a few pics of a train and one of the sites worth visiting there if you have kids.
The Amazement Square http://www.amazementsquare.org/ is a super kid-friendly place with a hands-on attitude. It is all about getting kids to do stuff. Lots of stuff.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only hummingbirds that breed in the eastern part of the US, although a couple other species occasionally stray east. And, they are fun birds to watch, as they are incredibly active, something they are famous for. They do actually sit still at times, but unless you see one actually land, they are almost impossible to spot when perched.
That is, other than at feeders. They love sugar water and there are quite a number of feeder styles out there that cater to their feeding style. Their long beak is brilliant at getting down into flowers to reach the nectar, and they have a long tongue to lick it up, so these feeders mimic the flowers. Side note: They will also eat small insects, an adaptation that allows for survival when their are few flowers blooming such as after a big weather event like a hurricane.
Today I spent 30 minutes in a small garden in Troutville, Virginia, with lots of flowers and hummingbird feeders. And here are the pics.
Assassin bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) are predatory bugs. They have a sharp beak-like structure that can spear other insects. And even the young of this ilk have the same kind of feeding habits. Here are two assassin bug nymphs, think juveniles, from near Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
I keep to a minimum my photos of misery on the blog. I like to keep things upbeat. But after living in, and traveling to many countries, I have a few photos that show the less fortunate. I am not so keen on even taking these types of pictures, as I am not a photojournalist, but here is one.
Someone at Wrigley's got the bright idea to create a line of chewing gum with dessert flavors. Hey, maybe you would enjoy chewing on a raspberry vanilla cupcake (flavored gum) after dinner, but seems a bit risky for a gum flavor. Other real flavors are: root beer float, lemon square, rainbow sherbert, and mint chocolate chip.
Here is a photo of the root beer float gum...found in the clearance bin at a local supermarket. Go figure.
This bit was interesting to watch, as a kid dropped his lunch and his mom then shared her lunch instead of buying him a new one. I was facing this as it happened, but have no idea what caused the kid to drop his lunch. The birds were all over it, mostly Starlings and House Sparrows.
Keith Christenson - Wildlife Biologist