How about the microscopic peak first?
These are wooly aphids, growing on our neighbor's apple tree this summer. Son has been watering the plants while they take their summer-long vacation, and we discovered the white sticky stuff in the leaves. We took a leaf sample to our ACE Hardware, where our very knowledgeable garden representative identified them for us.
Before the kids took the hose and dishwashing liquid to the aphids, (water fun!! Yippee!) we took a sample home. Daughter took this photo of some aphids with our little digital camera, through the microscope, at 30x.
The white sticky stuff is produced by their bodies, and acts as protection. Cool, ay?
We have some video of the poor little guys struggling with upturned wiggling legs, too. (at 30x) I will get that up sometime soon.
In the meantime, here is a video we made 2 years ago, of the aphids at our own house. We shot the video through the microscope to view the aphids on our sunflowers. Son composed and performed the apocalyptic music at the end. Enjoy!!!!
The ease of rain....
.85 of an inch in the rain gauge this morning! I had to silently shout, as it was only 7am.
We desert dwellers have a hungering, pleading relationship with rain most of the time. It seems to take great effort for the rain to fall. We need just the right time of year with just the right weather patterns, and just the right moisture and daily heating, along with a mountain range to stir the air up, before rain will fall. Even then, it's the luck of the draw as to where the little thunderstorm will float to- maybe it will float over you? Many times it floats over some other lucky area.
Now we have tropical storm moisture coming up from Baja California, and it is raining with much less effort. I am amazed at the numerous swirls of clouds forming around the mountain early in the morning! I am marveling at the ease of rain formation yesterday and today. All we needed was moisture. How about that! The ease of rain can be....easy!
If you live in Arizona, and have a rain gauge, you can help the public effort in recording rainfall in your neighborhood. Go to rainlog.org to register, record your results, and see which lucky people got the thunderstorm today!