Wednesday, August 22, 2012

That's not a Caterpillar

Butterfly watching has me attuned to caterpillars, so when I spotted this on a dogwood leaf this evening I was excited to find out which one I had discovered.


Our Peterson First Guide didn't offer a match, so I went online to search on characteristics. That got me nowhere. Then I went to 'caterpillar maine dogwood' and up popped two images from Jim McCormac's blog entry on sawflies and yellowjackets.

It's not a butterfly or a moth, it's a sawfly. bugman clued me into dogwood sawflies on What's That Bug? which itself pointed to Penn State's Susan Parker with an Integrated Pest Management perspective and a Chris Adams entry on bugguide.net. On the latter site, danielj reports that correspondent Millie's image was a first for bugguide.net. There are others there.

This squirmy thing had climbed to the tip of a pagoda dogwood, but we've got red osiers aplenty. Time to think twice about the positive first impression?

"This is an insect you can enjoy" said Dave Smitley in his alert (PDF) for Michigan State, though he makes disclaimer about the question being asked in September.

One last (?) thing: A look at an adult from Minnesota Seasons.


Another last thing: bugguide.net genus discussion mentions four species, three in the east, two of which are common: Macremphytus tarsatus and Macremphytus testaceus.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sunday, August 05, 2012

ARISS SSTV 2008

In December 2008, numerous images were transmitted from the International Space Station to Earth using amateur radio slow-scan television. I copied the following images during four passes over northeastern North America.

20081207-2303

20081207-2259

20081207-1952

20081207-1949

20081207-1818

20081207-1642

20081207-1639

A few weeks earlier (October 2008), space tourist Richard Garriott was aboard the space station. In addition to making lots of contacts with Earthbound hams, he sent many SSTV transmissions and I was able to copy these. The final one, which I attempted in early morning darkness on his last ISS day, says "Goodbye From Space - From Richard Garriott".

na1ss_inside

na1ss_halfanimage

iss-goodbye

All these images were recorded using an Arrow antenna feeding a Vertex-Standard VX-150 2-meter handheld transceiver and a Sony voice recorder. The recordings were later played back through MMSSTV to acquire images, which were then labeled using Photoshop.

This series was originally posted as individual nodes in Drupal, but with the demise of that website have been moved to Flickr and collected in this single post.