Saturday, July 12, 2014

I am in LOVE...

How can you not love this face?

To continue with examples of the serendipitous way my life works, out of the blue the other day I decided to see if I could get the sliding screen door either back on its track or figure out a way to hinge it. (It's been lying on its side tucked away on the deck for years...) In the process of wrestling with the door (which I did manage to get back up, more or less) I happened to notice this little fellow.

Even if you don't like spiders, how can you not like jumping spiders?! Okay, so one friend is most likely now afraid of any photo I post on Facebook. She says it's the eyes. Fair point; jumpers typically have eight of them, with at least two huge ones front and center. As well as eyes in the back of their head; how cool is that?

But (probably because of all of those eyes) they look at you. They notice you. They react to you with seeming intelligence. There's a connection being made and it's marvelous.

The legs-up photo is because he she was trying to get away and I wanted his her attention, so I tapped the chair arm and disturbed him her a bit more than I had planned. Oops. (He went merrily on his way when I had clicked off a dozen or so shots.)

CORRECTION: Paraphidippus species -- Emerald Jumper. Always go with the obvious. *sigh* With over 400 species of jumping spiders north of Mexico, it isn't easy to say which is which... Doesn't help that the females look different from the males. The juveniles probably look different from adults. Spiders of the same species can be highly variable. And some spiders can even change their patterns and colors like a chameleon. I'm sticking to Pelegrina (the white marks on the abdomen seem to be rather characteristic of the genus) and will let the nice folks at worry about which one. happy to be corrected.

Two days earlier I photographed the little one shown below on my front deck. I believe it too is a Pelegrina Paraphidippus; note the same white markings. Smaller and plainer = male. The line down the center of the abdomen really threw me until I realized it was not a true mark but merely the light reflecting off the spider.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Ten Minute Snapshot of My Life

Ten minute snapshot of my life... In snapshots.

How things work in my life: I went out to pick up some bamboo tips from where I'd tossed them last year because I finally figured out a use for them. Saw a wee snail in a patch of fantastic light, thought it would make a neat picture. Went for the camera, snail was cruising and had nearly managed to get out of sight by the time I made it back outside so I picked up the piece of bamboo it was on, scaring the snail. Snapped photo anyway:

While waiting for snail to re-emerge, out of the corner of my eye I noticed movement under the tree a couple feet away and looked more closely to discover it was a spreadwing damselfly... First for the yard, woohoo! Bad lighting but I took a documentary photo anyway:

The snail being stubborn, I was then sidetracked by the way the light was hitting the milkweed blossoms farther past the tree. (You can actually see the pink blur in the background of the above photo.) I walked around for better angle on damselfly and for photos of the milkweed. Scared the damselfly, took flower photos:

(Oh, snap! Much better than they appeared through the viewfinder, what with all the sweat running into my eyes. Did I mention it was broiling outside and only ten o'clock in the morning--?) Looked up from the flowers in time to notice the damselfly settling back down. Took poor photo but perfectly adequate for an ID: Slender Spreadwing. You can even see the diagnostic pale veins on the end of its wings.

Spooked damsel again. (Must learn not to wear white when creeping around my yard chasing small insects...) Went back to look for snail: Gone. Those things can really boogie when they want to.

New damselfly for the yard list and a flower photo I'm tickled over: Well worth the mosquito bites. And I now have an idea for creating a leaf litter tray for future snail photo sessions... :) And the reason I went for the bamboo sticks in the first place?

Typical way the "stream of consciousness" path of my life tends to go. Eh, I'll take it.