Moth Fly

Recently I found this strange creature in my basement. It is also commonly known as the Drain Fly, Filter Fly or Sewage Fly. Moth flies are frequently found indoors on windows, sinks and walls. The source of the fly infestation is generally from sinks and floor drains.


The adult insect is about one-fifth of an inch long. It has a dark gray body and lighter colored wings. It is densely covered with long hair, which gives the body a fuzzy appearance, hence the name “Moth Fly.”


Their eggs are deposited in moist, decomposing organic materials. These materials, which accumulate in drains, provide an ideal site for metamorphosis. Adults live about two weeks and feed on flower nectar and polluted water.


During the day adults rest in shaded areas or on walls near plumbing fixtures and on the sides of showers and tubs. Most of their activity occurs during the evening. It was neat to make an acquaintance with this unusual insect.

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House Sparrow

I have seen these birds throughout my life, whether at my home growing up in Cleveland, downtown, or in my current residence in the suburbs.

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The House Sparrow is native to most of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and much of Asia. Its intentional or accidental introductions to many regions, including parts of Australia, Africa, and the Americas, make it the most widely distributed wild bird.

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This bird is strongly associated with human habitations and can live in urban or rural settings. Though found in widely varied habitats and climates, it is rarely found away from human development. It is often seen in city centers, suburbs, farms and around isolated houses or businesses surrounded by terrain unsuited to House Sparrows, such as desert or forest.

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Their diet consist mainly of small seeds. They are attracted to corn, oats, wheat and other types of grain or weed seeds. These birds primarily forage on the ground.

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Males have black chin and bib with white cheeks and rust colored cap and nape of neck, while females are plainer, with a broad buff eyebrow, brown and buff-streaked wings and back.

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Because of its simple success formula of associating with humans, the House Sparrow is one of the most ubiquitous and abundant songbirds in the world today.

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I caught one of Ohio’s most colorful sunfish while on a recent fishing outing. Though native to most of the northeastern United States, Pumpkinseed have been introduced into other areas of North America as well as Europe. Their native range extends further north than any other sunfish species in their genus.


They have an orange-to-yellow belly and many small, brown-to-orange spots scattered over their sides. The coloration of the scales of the Pumpkinseed is one of the most vibrant of any freshwater fish. The ear flap features a distinctive red-orange spot at the rear edge.


Pumpkinseed prefer clear, non-flowing water with dense submerged aquatic vegetation. This species resides in places where it can find underwater shelter to hide. Adults are usually 5-8 inches and less than half a pound, but they can reach 10 inches and 1 pound.


They are much more common in lakes and reservoirs of Northern Ohio than in Southern Ohio. Pumpkinseed eat larval insects, some adult insects, snails, and occasionally small fish.


This fish is also referred to as Pond Perch, Common Sunfish, Punkys, Sunfish, Sunny, and Kivver.

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Red Maple


This tree located throughout all of Ohio (including in my backyard) and is found naturally in moist areas of open woodlands, especially along creeks and bottomlands where the soil is usually moist to wet. It is also a major component of the native habitat throughout its region. In urban areas it is a popular shade tree, noted for its brilliant red fall color.

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This species and the Silver Maple often are referred to as the “soft maples.” The wood is soft, not very strong and not durable. It is used for veneer and a variety of small products such as boxes and clothespins. It typically grows 40-60’ tall with a rounded to oval crown.

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Clusters of small red flowers bloom in March and April. Reddish, winged fruit called samaras or “keys” become brown and mature in May and June.

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Red maple is one of the most abundant species in temperate forests of eastern North America and has a wide north to south distribution. Because of this wide natural range, it is extremely variable in form. The leaves of southern forms tend to have only three lobes compared to five lobes on northern forms.

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This tree takes its common name from its reddish buds that swell in Spring, its red leaf petioles in Summer, and its brilliant red foliage in Fall. Red maple is one of the most recognized trees with some part of the plant red all season long.

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