Tangled Bank #3: The circle of liiiiiiiiife

Long-jawed orbweaver

As July fades into August you can feel everything winding down, going into autumn mode. The milkweed and thistle plants have largely been pollinated and have started going to seed. Aphid populations have grown so dense that they are producing winged aphids (alates) that can leave the nest, so to speak; and ladybugs in all stages of life, as well as orb-weaving spiders, are still around to prey on them.

There are still some late-blooming monarch caterpillars, but fully grown monarch butterflies have been out and about for a while. Meanwhile, other species are even further along. The skeletonizing leaf beetles are nearing the end of their life cycle; most of them are pregnant now, getting ready to lay eggs that will hatch in the spring. The tussock moth caterpillars are just getting big. They’ll pupate over the winter and hatch next year.

I also found several insects that I have yet to identify! If anyone recognizes them, let me know. Continue reading

The Cheat Sheet: July 7 & 8 City Council

Cheat Sheet (July 2014)

Monday’s City Council is actually a Special Meeting, and for once it’s not a transit debate that we’ll all walk out of hating everyone and everything. This time, Council will appoint fill-in councillors for Wards 5 and 20, vacant after councillors Milczyn and Vaughan levelled up to MPP and MP, respectively. You might see some familiar names on the list of candidates for Ward 5 and Ward 20. They include former Ford staffer Nico Fidani, cinephile urban legend Reg Hartt, and, uh, me. Yep. After saying on Keenan’s show that you couldn’t pay me to be Ward 20 councillor, I went and signed up, mostly as a joke…but upon consideration, I guess I know this beat pretty well.

The July City Council meeting proper starts Tuesday. (You’ll have gotten a preview of several of these items if you followed my Executive Committee livetweeting.) Here’s the full agenda and the livestream. My picks for items to watch are after the jump!

Continue reading