Today was our Investiture service for the Adventurers and Pathfinders. It went pretty well! David was named the Pathfinder of the Year, and he seemed surprised by that. I thought it was well merited though (which is why I choose him for that). I still need to order some insignia that was either out of stock, unavailable, or that I had forgotten, but I can do that sometime next week. The rush is off.

When we got home I took a nap. Va woke me up around 6:00pm because she had made a homemade pizza. She makes the best crust I have ever eaten. Normally, supper has to struggle to get me to end a nap, but not this time.

After dinner I went for a walk about the yard. I found some spittle on a blade of grass:

Spittle

Spittle


This spittle is made by spittlebug nymphs. They exude these bubbles to hide themselves from predators. It doesn’t work against amateur naturalists such as myself. I dove in and felt around for the spittlebug, but didn’t find one here. I moved on and found a tiny little spider on a milkweed leaf nearby:
Spider on Milkweed

Spider on Milkweed


I don’t know what kind of spider she is yet, but I haven’t tried to figure it out yet either. She had several eggs on the leaf with her, and in fact, that was the first thing I had noticed. When I looked closer, I found her too.

I moved on to the front of the property, and by then Beth had joined me. We walked along the road by the ditch, and I saw more spittle. Again, I jammed my finger in looking for a spittlebug. This time I hit pay-spit:

Spittlebug Nymph

Spittlebug Nymph


Again, I don’t know the exact species. But I thought the photo came out pretty OK! My Audubon Field Guide to Insects and Spiders only shows one species of spittlebug, so I’m going to have to look elsewhere. Spittlebugs are spread across five families (which is the level above genus in the taxonomic hierarchy). Kaufman’s (and Eaton’s!) Field Guide to Insects of North America shows three species, and says there are 54 in the US and Canada. I wouldn’t want to guess this one’s identity based on only three to compare against. This might be a job for Bugguide.

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