This being the first day of school in our area, you might have answered that question by saying the school bus! But my riddle refers to the Yellow and Black Argiope spider, more correctly known as the Black & Yellow Argiope, an orb weaver.
I discovered this beauty last week. I was about to pull the dried day lily stems from the sides of my driveway when I came across this splendid spider. Wow! Pretty impressive. What kind is this? I wondered. The stems can wait; I hated to disturb it.
Getting out my trusty Audubon Field Guide to Insects and Spiders, I found my mystery spider was a female Black & Yellow Argiope. They are fairly common, although I had never seen one before. The guide said the males were small, 1/4" to 3/8"; the females are much larger, 3/4" to 1 1/8", so mine was a biggie.
I thought it would be fun to keep an eye on what she was up to so I would check on her daily. The next day I say she had caught a grasshopper and wrapped it up for future use. She also dined on a yellow-jacket a few days later.
While trying to get some closeups of Mrs. Spider, I found she quick as a wink could switch sides of her web. At first I thought I was seeing things, but she managed to slip through her web to sit on the opposite side faster than my eye could see. I remembered from studying spiders during my homeschool days that spiders did not get hung up on their sticky webs, as she so adeptly demonstrated.
I also remembered spiders had several different spinnerets, so to speak, on their web spinning orifice. The food storage web is a different type web material than the web itself, for example. The heavier zig-zag web was made by the male, according to my Audubon guide: "Male builds web in outlying part of female's web, making a white zig-zag band vertically across the middle."
Some people might look at a spider as just an object of horror. (Obviously I don't suffer from arachnophobia.) I look at the spider and its intricacies and marvel at its design and the Designer who created it. Just look at their spinneret organ and think about that happening by accident.
Sadly, my Mrs. Spider was nowhere to be found yesterday, nor have I been able to locate Mr. I will check on them again today. I did notice a new web nearby with a new Yellow and Black, this one a tan variation. For more information, check out what the Bug Guide has to say. They have many great photos of the color variations.
Now if you are brave enough, take a look at the Black & Yellow in action. Relax, they are not aggressive and rarely bite.
For those local soccer fans out there, this year's Greater Metro Conference soccer race could be fun.
In a battle of perhaps the state's top two teams last Saturday, Marquette handed Brookfield East a convincing 4-1 loss in the title game of the prestigious Al Gusho Tournament.
The Friends of the Library will be holding their first fall book sale on Saturday, September 11 from 9:30-3. Great bargains! The next Monday book sale will be October4th from 9:30-11.
There is still time to register for story time. Register in person or call 768-8195, ext 3. Children up to 6 years are welcomed. We have stories, puppet shows, crafts, songs and games.
On Wednesday, September 29 from 6 - 7:45 pm children's author and South Milwaukee resident Janet Halfmann will launch two of her new books. They are Fur and Feathers and Good Night Little Sea Otter. There will be activities, prizes and book performances by South Milwaukee school students. Books will be available for sale and signing. For more information go to janethalfmann.com.
Hey kids. Want to read to "I'll Be" a therapy dog. "I'll Be" is a KIng Charles Caviler Spaniel who is eager to hear children read aloug. Children in K-5 can sign up for a 20 minute session on Thursdays, September 23, September 30, October 7 and October 14th between 3:30-5:15. Each child is encouraged to complete two- 20 minutes sessions to earn a free book and certificate. The child can bring his favorite book from home or choose one from the library. Call the Youth Room at 414 768-8195, ext 3 to register or register in person.
The Library will be offering compter classes once again on Saturday, September 25th in the morning. Check out our web site for more information. Call the adult reference desk at 768-8195, ext 2 for more information.
Do you want to be notified about your item that is about to be due, that your reserve item is in or that you have an overdue item? Be sure that the library has your CURRENT e-mail addraess.
Learning Express Practice Test Database. The Library offers a database of test study guides to users from of charge. Whether you are studying for your GED, college admissions (ACT or SAT) or practice for a civil service exam you can do it from the library or from home. You can access it though the online catalog. Click on to databases and follow the insturctions. You do need to have a library card and no charges on your record.
You can pay your fees and fines online or make a donation to the South Milwauke Public Library Foundation through the online Countycat. Click on "What can I kdo in the Countycat"? and follow the instructions.
We have less than 2 weeks to go until Wisconsin's Primary Election and the campaign ads are in full swing. The Brett Davis ad I have been hearing is really something, proving that in this election cycle, saying you are a CONSERVATIVE is a must for the Republican side of the ballot. (The TV version is much the same but shorter.)
Representative Davis' ad features a glowing litany of what he did in the legislature, with a decidedly conservative, tax cutting spin. It claims he wants to transform the office of Lt. Governor into a taxpayer watchdog for the state. Great.
Trouble is, his complete voting record doesn't match his ad's promises. See what you think.
The Davis ad: In a lighthearted way, the Davis ad begins with a male voice asking a series of questions: For thousands of years, mankind has looked to answer the great questions of the day: Can we predict the end of time? When will Brett Farve retire? and What on earth does the Wisconsin Lt. Governor do?
Then a woman's voice comes on and seriously tells us the facts: Conservative Republican Brett Davis has a plan to end the days of Wisconsin's do-nothing Lt. Governor. Brett Davis will transform the job into the leading taxpayer watchdog in the state, with the chief mission of cutting wasteful spending in Madison. Brett Davis, a small businessman and legislator, who has voted 126 times to cut taxes by a total of $5 billion dollars. No one else running for Lt. Governor can say the same. Brett Davis has a 100% voting record with National Federation of Independent Businesses, is the only candidate with an A rated voting record from the NRA, and is endorsed by Wisconsin Right to Life. It ends with the usual vote Brett Davis on Sept. 14th....
Sounds good, doesn't it? Especially if you aren't familiar with Brett Davis' voting record in Wisconsin's Assembly!
When I look at a prospective candidate, I am far more concerned with what that person did in the past than the promises they make for the future. In fact, I will quote Mr. Davis' latest campaign email called "Home Strech" (Brett, you might want to make that stretch). He states, "But talk is cheap--actions speak louder than words."
First of all, since he is the only candidate that has been a legislator in Madison; obviously he is the only candidate with a legislature voting record!
And while in Madison, HE VOTED FOR THE FINAL DOYLE 2007-2008 BUDGET. Although Davis says the promise of a $4 Million dollar Soy Bean Crusher for his district (pork) to sweeten the pot on wasn't the reason, he was the "lone Republican" vote among the Democrats on an earlier compromise budget proposal just the same.
Davis' ad says he wants to "transform the job of Lt. Governor into the leading taxpayer watchdog in the state". In his email he promises, "I'm going to make the job meaningful by giving the office a purpose -- stopping wasteful spending."
Some Watchdog--seems more like a fox in charge of hen-house? Because by Brett Davis' vote in 2007, Davis approved of the $200 million dollar raid from the Patient's Compensation Fund and approved the inmates driver's license ID policy that he is now raging war against. And let's not forget his sponsorship of AB 15, a 2005 Ethanol Mandate Bill. Hardly the work of a true Conservative.
As for the endorsements, Ginny Marshman, a leader in Republican politics in Waukesha County, said this about Davis' pro life stance: "Brett Davis has a 75% pro-life record in the 2005-2006 session, voting against the Wisconsin Right to Life positions three times. His stance against the pro-life movement, including voting for Planned Parenthood's #1 agenda item in chemical abortion aka 'emergency contraception'." (Davis' voting record in 2007-2008 was 100%.)
Notice there is no Tax Hero status mentioned from Wisconsin Club for Growth as there is for real conservatives such as Leah Vukmir or Jim Ott or Glenn Grothman, to name a few.
Yup. You can dress 'em up and even call them Conservative in the ads, but their voting record remains. I can only hope voters this time around will do a little research before they cast their vote on Sept. 14th.
My vote is going for a genuine Conservative, Rebecca Kleefisch, for Lt. Governor. She is Pro-Life, Pro 2nd Amendment, and says NO to high speed rail, for example. If I were not voting for her, I would choose David Ross, Mayor of Superior.
Certainty we can do better than Brett Davis, a Madison middle of the roader for Lt. Governor.
More reading: Brett Davis doesn't want you to know THE TRUTH
Brett Davis is a grade-A hypocrite
We don't need another RINO in Madison zoo
My anti-ethanol [and Brett Davis soybean] rant
Past Posts: Wisconsin's primary is 3 weeks away - who are you voting for?
Lt. Gov. candidate Rebecca Kleefisch on Fox & Friends
I subscribe to The Wall Street Journal, and it is always one of the more relaxing and thought provoking segments of my week when I settle into a comfortable chair and peruse the week's pages for topics of interest.
The subscription is expensive compared to the cost of most daily publications, but is an illustration of the adage, "you get what you pay for". The people who publish The WSJ seem committeed to the quaint notion that the individuals they hire on to their newspaper should be able to - well - write. Objective readers may differ with its philosophies, but cannot I believe, deny the quality of its content. Its feature story staff writes from the vantage point of a broad, liberal education, and then steeps its work in analysis, insight, and craft; all resulting in output far superior to that of any daily publication I have encountered.
Just a reminder that if you are still undecided about Wisconsin's 14th Assembly District race, there is a Candidate Forum at the Wauwatosa Public Library (76th Street and North Ave.) at 7pm tonight.
All 6 candidates are to be there: Dale Kooyenga, David Coon, Chris Maurer, Dennis Kaun, Michael Olen, and Ryan Shulander.
I admit I have been torn as to who to vote for in this race; I vascilated between David Coon, Chris Maurer, and Dale Kooyenga. It isn't often one has so many choices!
But I have decided on Dale Kooyenga. Rarely have I ever seen a candidate campaign as energetically and effectively as Kooyenga has, which hopefully will translate into how hard he will work for us in Madison!
It isn't just his energy though, it is his platform and endorsements that resonate with me. He has signed the American's for Tax Reform Pledge not to raise taxes and is endorsed by Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Right to Life, and Wisconsin Family Action. Individual endorsements include Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto, Wauwatosa Mayor Jill Didier, and Elm Grove Village President Susan Freedy as well as past President Neil Palmer, to name a few.
So if you haven't decided, tonight would be a good opportunity to get to know the candidates.
NOTE FOR BROOKFIELD DISTRICT 7 RESIDENTS: Remember Heritage Christian School is NO LONGER our polling place! You must go to St. Lukes on Greenfield and Davidson Road to vote.
See all the candidates running for Wisconsin office with contact information at Wisconsin Vote
One day this summer, I noticed my dill was stripped clean in my vegetable garden, which disappointed me, to say the least. Upon further inspection, I found the culprit. It was a plump Black Swallowtail caterpillar! Somehow my disgust quickly dissipated into delight.
I quickly looked over my other carrot family plants like cilantro, parsley and Queen Anne's Lace, hoping to find more. Black Swallowtails feed on plants from the Parsley/Carrot family. In fact, some people call them parsley-worms. I didn't see any more caterpillars that day but decided to make a point of watching my little friend's progress from then on.
Since he had eaten all my dill, I moved him over to some Queen Anne's Lace. Two days later he had undergone a change; he had attached himself to a stem. The next day he started making the chrysalis, which became more colorful as time went on.
Fully expecting him to overwinter in my garden, I marked the spot where he was so as not to disturb it when cleaning out my flowerbeds in the fall. We then went on vacation for 2 weeks.
First thing I did when I got home though was to check on my guest. He was gone! I missed the show.
From my first encounter to the chrysalis stage took about 10 days. How long it took him to transform and fly the coop, I don't know. What I do know is, next year, I am planting more dill!
Although I did find a few more caterpillars in my garden, I never did find their chrysalises. I hope they have moved on to start the whole life-cycle all over again as well.
If you have never witnessed the unusual transformation of caterpillars into butterflies, you have missed one of God's most amazing little shows on earth. The intracacy of each stage and how different each is from the other is truly a mystery--a mystery I never tire of witnessing.
Want to learn more? Magiccanoe.com: Black Swallowtail caterpillar
Insects.tamu.edu Fieldguide Black Swallowtail (Photo of adult is from here)
Life Cycle of a Black Swallowtail Butterfly - includes info on how to set up a butterfly watching enclosure.
Like most schools, Greater Metro Conference teams play two non-conference games to start the season. That's season I.
The regular conference season is the most important part of any football team's schedule, because if they aren't successful, then Season III, the playoffs, isn't going to happen.
I have written several times in the last four years about the ever increasing reality of the impact technology is having on our kids. I have also written of the fabulous times we have enjoyed on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan. This posting combines both.
When speaking of technology I always feel the need to make the obligatory disclaimers. I am no Luddite; like you, I use the wonderful technological tools at our disposal and depend on them daily for work, pleasure, and convenience. They are a marvelous source of productivity, exploration, education, and musical enjoyment for me and my family. But like anything, technology can be over-used, and is I fear, enormously over used by so many young people. The incredible combination of heretofore unimagined power and portability is making these products little more than electronic appendages for so many. Aristotle taught of The Golden Mean, and that anything excessively used or indulged in becomes by defintion, a negative influence. It is time to remember the Great Master's lesson when we consider this topic.
It is time to decide! Wisconsin's Primary Election is Tuesday, September 14th. In Wisconsin, that means one party voting--no crossing over. I voted Republican.
Here are my picks in the order they appeared on my ballot: (I am voting for all running unopposed but will not mention them below.)
Governor: Scott Walker
Scott walker has run a very positive campaign, I think. His ads were upbeat and almost had an Andy of Mayberry quality to them. His latest ad, holding Neumann's feet to the fire for his vote for a pork laden transportation bill while in Congress was more pointed however.
Walker rally made political hay, ad gained national attention
Should Mark Neumann prevail, I will hold my nose and vote for him in November, but I do not like how he has run his campaign. His latest ad about career politicians going negative is absurd considering he was the first to go negative and only recently reinvented himself as the kinder, gentler Mark Neumann. Now he seems to be back in negative mode. In addition, I have a problem with a candidate who chides government spending but owns a business that benefits from government subsidies on green technology. Hopefully I will not have to hold my nose in November. Mark Neumann opposes Vermont-style concealed carry!
Lieutenant Governor: Rebecca Kleefisch I also think Dave Ross would be a good choice, but it does not seem he has campaigned much down here--at least nothing has come to my mailbox.
Lt. Gov. candidate Rebecca Kleefisch on Fox & Friends
More concerned what Brett Davis DID than what Lt. Gov. does
State Treasurer: I have not settled on a candidate. It is not an office I have followed, so I will leave it blank. (I do not vote for people I do not know anything about.) FYI, Randy Melchert picked Scott Feldt.
United States Senate: Ron Johnson If you remember, I urged people to call up Ron to encourage him to run for Senate back in April. In one early conversation with him, I think he joked I was his first fan. He has done well in his campaign and will do well for us in Washington.
Ron Johnson, Feingold virtually tied in poll" November can't come fast enough!
Ron Johnson enters US Senate race
Ron Johnson would be my ideal candidate
David Westlake should run for a state office if he is interested in serving. He is a good conservative voice and would be a good representative at the state level.
Representative to the Assembly District 14: Dale Kooyenga Dale Kooyenga is a solid conservative and will serve us well in Madison. He has run a very energetic, organized campaign from what I can see and is spot on on the issues that matter to me.
Wisconsin 14th Assembly Forum tonight in Tosa with Kooyenga, Coon, Maurer...
Waukesha County Sheriff: Daniel Trawicki I voted for Dan. He is endorsed by many legislators that I admire, such as Leah Vukmir. I was wary of his opponent, Tom Alioto, who was off of work for over a year due to a "hostile environment". How would he manage a larger department? I stuck with Trawicki.
Check fellow Conservative blogger Randy Melchert for more races (including Congressional races in other districts) and his insights: Randy's September 14th Wisconsin Republican Primary Voter Guide
His blog stated he would have State Senate and Assembly picks in the near future.
More past posts: Wisconsin's primary is 3 weeks away, who are you voting for?
To Do List: Email Aldermen & Mayor re: Brookfield train station, Walker rally in 3rd Ward
Brookfield District 7 residents, remember you now vote at St. Luke's Church on Greenfield and Davidson.
One of the most exciting aspects about a new school year is the sense of excitement and anticipation that is experienced by all. This is an exceptionally exciting new school year for many of us as that are new members of the St. John Vianney School community.
The 2010-2011 school year officially began for the school staff on September 27th. Teachers were welcomed back to school with a special breakfast compliments of the SJV Home and School Association. Truth be told, many of the teachers had already been back for weeks preparing their classroom and planning their instructional units. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of that week, our staff was engaged in numerous in-service opportunities. It was a rich combination of activities as we discussed ITBS scores, began work on our data action plan, attended a quad-parish inspirational presentation
by Fr. Tony Zimmer and participated in an all staff Mass. One of our community building activities included a tour of our rooms as Fr. Phillip Bogacki, Associate Pastor, blessed instruments used in our roles as educators such as the textbooks and SMARTboard technology.
On Wednesday evening we welcomed sixth grade students and their families to a prayer service in church and middle school overview sessions in the classrooms. This was followed by a wonderful Orientation Day on Friday as the students and the parents arrived ready to unpack school supplies, purchase spirit wear, volunteer for lunchroom and playground supervision and have school portraits taken. There was a strong pulse of positive energy throughout our building as teachers warmly welcomed students into their new classroom and children greeted their classmates and friends.
Monday, August 30 marked our first official day of instruction. Students arrived wearing their uniforms and ready to embark on new learning opportunities. We were thrilled to welcome forty new students representing approximately thirty new families to SJV. Upon visiting the classrooms, I experienced teachers engaging students in activities designed to familiarize them with their new students and clear expectations were established for their study.
On Wednesday, September 1, we experienced our first children’s liturgy of the school year. How beautifully this illustrates that our learning occurs in a rich faith filled community. I am hopeful that parents and community members will join us at Mass at 8:00am on most Wednesdays.
Parent Information Night was held Thursday evening beginning at 7:00 pm. This night provided parents some one on one time with the faculty who will instruct their child(ren) this year.
On September 10, to celebrate and welcome all our students and their families, we will have our Back to School Pizza Bash.
No wonder we are experiencing a sense of exhilaration. All of these rich traditions and activities can mean only one thing. This is the beginning of a wonderful new school year at SJV!
Pam Pyzyk, Principal
St. John Vianney School
St. John Vianney School welcomes new students and invites the family to tour the campus and meet and our outstanding faculty and students. To schedule a tour, please contact Pam Pyzyk, Principal at 262-796-3942 or email@example.com.
It hangs there in the closet..........................there in silent repose.
It hangs there, trying to tell us of the things it has seen and the men that it knew; as I gaze at it wishing it could do just that.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is turning her attention to the Middle East Peace Process, and certainly clear thinking people of all inclinations can join in wishing her well.
But some things are so simple they become difficult. Since the 1967 Arab/Israeli War, U.S. Presidents and Secretaries of State of BOTH parties have been pursuing the peace "process" in the Middle East. It has become all but obligatory, the diplomatic and political equivalent of a physical reflex. The actual achievement of PEACE has become secondary. As long as the all-important "process" is engaged, that's the important thing.
A Brookfield man said Friday he was treated disrespectfully by a state Republican Party canvasser who told him that his answers to her questions were wrong.
If true, the volunteer’s behavior was “inappropriate,” GOP spokesman Andrew Welhouse said.
Discovery Education and 3M set out to find young scientists across the nation who have what it takes to be "America's Top Young Scientist."
Liam McCarty of Elm Grove answered their call and was selected to be one of 10 finalists for the 12th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge to be held Tuesday, October 5 in New York City.
She has me up at the crack of dawn, insisting that breakfast is the most important meal of the day (or at least one of the most important). After a brief nap she is barking out our marching orders. Then a brisk walk in all kinds of weather (except for thunder which she thinks is extremely dangerous) before getting on with the routine of the day (which includes a lot of napping on her part). If she thinks I need to get up and move (run up and down the stairs), she creates a diversionary tactic (opening the refrigerator or getting into a closet). She gets me up and moving when dinner time is near and makes sure I get out for a late evening constitutional. Then it is early to bed (for her at least) and we repeat it all again the next day. Without her I might not be an Elmbrook Volunteer. She is a 12 + year old Elmbrook rescue; I've had her for 3 of those years and I wouldn't have it any other way.