It was pretty warm and soggy on the holler walk today, but a few ripe blackberries and discovery of a planthopper species I had not seen before made my day.
The planthoppers were lined up along a wild grape vine at eye level. Because they were small and the sun was not fully above the sheltering ridges, it was very difficult to get a decent image. I'm hoping to find them again tomorrow but for now, here's the best shot:
It wasn't too hard to narrow this species down at BugGuide to one from Tribe Nephesini planthoppers. I'm pretty sure it is an Ormenoides venusta, a species that happens to prefer wild grape. It's always nice to match images in the Guide and then find out your bug is crawling on a plant it's known to like.
Today I also relocated a Lobelia inflata that I found first on July 6th. I had a hard time getting a good image that day, so I wanted to try again this morning. I did a little better getting a photo of the plant, and today I also found what looks like fruit structures:
Indian tobacco -- also known as pukeweed, gagroot, asthma weed, and vomitwort -- has been used in Appalachia and elsewhere for its medicinal properties. The variety of common names attest to some of its effects.
This Lobelia is pretty inconspicuous, in contrast to the showier Lobelia siphilitica and Lobelia cardinalis, both of which grow here in the holler:
I've noticed over the past few weeks that there are fewer birds singing on the morning holler walks. I did hear a yellow-breasted chat today, though. Somebody was singing when I sat down to do this blog but I'm not sure what...also some bullfrog calls from the pond about 75 yards from my office window. Someday I'm going to flip the camera to video mode and record their calls. I found a great night chorus of bullfrogs on YouTube, and also a frog call index page at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History website where you can compare different frog sounds.