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Archive for July 31, 2017

Heartfelt Thanks To All My Readers

e-kit with mother IMG_4483Several times I have been brought to tears in the past week by the thoughtfulness, generosity, kindness and compassion shown by so many Naturally Curious readers. I owe you such a debt of gratitude. Many of you don’t know me, much less Sadie and Otis, yet your response to our situation was immediate and magnanimous.

I had every intention of writing to each and every Naturally Curious reader who has given to Sadie’s and Otis’s fund. However, there are an enormous number of you, my free time is quite limited, and many of the gifts are anonymous, so I decided to write one note to all of my readers, hoping that I will reach every single person who has touched our lives in the past few weeks. I hope you understand my lack of an individual response to every donation and kind thought.

Thank you so very, very much. Every penny will be spent on necessities, and gratitude will be felt every day for what you have done for us. Both Sadie and I are deeply humbled and overwhelmed by your generosity. I feel my NC posts are not nearly worthy of the outpouring of love and support that you have bestowed upon us. You have given back tenfold, and I shall never forget your incredible response. Sadie, Otis and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have touched us so deeply. I simply cannot believe the extent of your compassion and generosity; there are not adequate words to thank you.

With enormous gratitude, Mary

Leaf Beetles

7-14-17 dogbane beetle 168

There is a group of 1,500-plus beetles in North America known as “leaf beetles.” They all have an expanded and two-lobed/heart-shaped section of their leg just above the claws. These lobes bear specially modified hairs which help these plant-eating beetles walk on plant stems and smooth leaves. The majority of leaf beetles are specialists, feeding only on a single species of plant or groups of closely related plants. Many leaf beetles are considered pests, including the Colorado Potato Beetle, Spotted Cucumber Beetle, Striped Cucumber Beetle, Spotted Asparagus Beetle and Northern Corn Rootworm Beetle.

 One of the most striking leaf beetles, and one that is not a “pest” is the Dogbane Beetle (Chrysochus auratus), so called because its diet is restricted to the leaves of Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium). Its distinctive iridescent green, copper, green and blue body is hard to miss. (Photo: Dogbane beetle on Dogbane)