Aphids, Fruit Flies, Bees & Meteorites – Errata, Omissions & Addenda

1.  I used insecticidal soap which wiped out the tiny black aphids (in my “Jungle In Here” blog) but unfortunately it also eliminated all the orchid blossoms.

2.  For the yellow aphids on the Oleander

 I’m now brushing them off with a fine brush and I have 2 good looking buds.

3.  I’d wrongly blamed my little red wiggler worms for creating the large wine-tasting fruit fly population. I seems that open wine bottles, even with surfactant detergent to discourage water walking, starts an orgy. I’ve no idea where they do it but next day there are hundreds more fruit flies, and all are thirsty.  Simply terminating the test eliminated them all, except for one or two teetotallers on a vase of cut flowers.

4.  One amazingly warm (7 C (45 F)) day last month (Jan.) allowed me to quickly opon the hive to check that the bees still had food:

Now I see I’ve left them too much and could have harvested more but they are all happy, even hatching a few eggs,

and I hope they were glad to see me evict one clump of about 20 small hive beetles.

Now (Feb 11) it’s below freezing, as normal for this time of year, and yesterday they licked, fanned or shoveled the snow out of their doorway all by their sweet little selves.

Meanwhile, last week in down-town Phoenix, I carefully examined street flowers and had only found one single insect, until I discovered white flowering Pear trees with many happy, pollen laden honey bees.

5.  Trying to walk to the Phoenix Botanical Gardens I saw a map location which said “U of Arizona Meteorite Collection”. There I learnt that the body of a meteorite coming in from deep space is very cold despite having a momentarily hot skin for the short time while it hits our atmosphere.  To prove it, the U of A collection has one with unsinged grass stuck to it. So that nullifies the hot rock experiment in my recent “Winter Works” blog, but it does improve the chance of finding one on cold clean frozen lakes because it won’t be hot enough to melt its way through the ice.

And as to their value: the last one above is a ‘Carbonaceous Chondrite’.  Bruce Draine’s “Physics of the Interstellar ..Medium”, p. 267, says that about 1/10 of 1% of the weight of that type is composed of Nanodiamonds! Unfortunately a nanodiamond is only about 2 nanometers across (about 1/200 the wavelength of blue light) so don’t expect to see any sparkle.

Scott F. has a good idea for finding meteorites: watch for a-typical stones when snorkling over flat sandy sheltered bays. They might lie there for a long time before getting covered.

Meanwhile I continue to check flat roof tops of taller buildings. These days they are often covered with light grey sheet plastic roofing material rather than the asphalt of old. Apart from bird droppings there is very little granular material up there.

Please let me know if you find one?