These appeared while I was extricating the 3-axis positioner from an old project:
I’m reasonably sure those labels started with blue ink from my all-time favorite Ultra-Fine-Point Sharpie markers on address labels covered with ordinary matte tape. Fourteen years on, the X, Y, and Drive legends are pretty much indistinguishable.
The Praying Mantis in the Butterfly Bush is definitely female:
I’d noticed her distended abdomen a day or two earlier, when it was highlighted in the sun and pulsing slowly. The indentations under the male’s legs shows the surface is definitely softer than the hard chitin of most insect armor:
The tip of the male’s abdomen twisted around to make contact, but I have no idea what all the little doodads common to both of them back there were doing.
The lump on the right is frass, not a mini-me tagging along behind.
We had no clue what it might be when it grew up, but Google Lens suggested a Striped Hairstreak Butterfly caterpillar and, later that day (and for the first time ever!), we saw an adult Hairstreak fluttering on a goldenrod in the corner of the garden.
The toad population has apparently been spending more time near the Mighty Wappinger Creek, rather than around the house, during this very dry summer, so this small toad at the garage door came as a surprise:
A few days later, Mary spotted a larger toad tucked into the spice garden:
Small tree frogs sound off in the darkness around the house, but we’ve never seen any of them.
We wish them great success in their future bug hunts!
For whatever reason, a two-outlet junction box stands outside the Credit Union:
The slanted conduit certainly looks in need of an elbow to line it up, doesn’t it?
It seems whoever installed it, many years ago, simply forced the conduit to line up, no matter the consequences:
The threaded entries on the die-cast outlet box were never intended to cope with that much misalignment; half the bottom has vanished. I think the round box on the top originally held a floodlight to wash the (uninspired) building facade at night, but those days are long gone.
If the conduit has horizontal underground runs, both are certainly full of water by now. The white(-ish) “Romex” cable insulation looks like ordinary indoor wiring, not the grayish direct-burial sheath, but it may be sun-bleached after years of exposure.