Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Midsummer's Day

High noon (or close enough to it as makes no difference) on a mid-July day is no where near an ideal time to be shooting photographs but you take what you can get when you can get it (and then tweak it later).

The underside of an orb weaver (garden spider). The zigzag is called a "stabilimentum" and theories as to its purpose range from structural support to visual warning to keep too-large prey out of the web. Doesn't look like this one is doing very well at either. On the other hand, it does seem to be the only thing holding the entire web together…

Itty bitty butterfly (Gray Hairstreak--my bad, I knew what it was), smaller than a quarter coin. (The plant is mountain mint. If you want to plant one thing that will bring in the largest possible number and variety of nectaring winged things--butterflies, bees, wasps, flies, things that you can't tell what they are because they are trying to look like something else--plant mountain mint.) I find these wee beauties charming, not the least for their tendency to twitch their wings up and down when perched, the flutterby version of wagging their tail(s)!

Halloween Pennant. Dragonflies can be quite a nuisance to ID given that males and females often exhibit sexual dimorphism (they look different even when the same species) and even an individual's appearance can change with age, but they (and their cousins the damselflies) have the most wonderful names!

Notice the parasites, a red mite, entrenched in between this one's body plates… ::twitching in sympathy::

I suppose that's some consolation for being eating alive by bloodsuckers during the dog days of summer: even the bugs are bugged by other bugs!