Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19, 2012

So where were the spiders? 

Remember David Bowie and Ziggy Stardust?  Late summer is prime time for spiders, so I went to see where they were hiding.  They are everywhere, but when you look for them, they're surprisingly hard to find.  Here are a few I was able to capture.  Of course, Daddy Long Legs are common on trees and the sides of houses.
What's missing on this one?

Also on living on structures is the American House Spider - these however are web-weavers.

Here's another web-weaver, living way up high so I couldn't get a good look.

One of my favorite spiders is the Goldenrod Spider, which can be found on flowers, especially purple and pink ones, where it snatches small insects attracted by the nectar.

This one isn't a spider, but it looks cool and I found it on the same flowers. 

This Stink Bug was also on a pink flower - pink must be big attraction to prey insects.

Usually this time of year there are some giant water spiders on the docks, but the high water this week chased them all away.  Here's one from a couple of years ago.  I love these guys - think how many mosquitoes and other pests they must eat to get this big (it's a good three inches across).

Though not a spider, this caterpillar uses a similar thread to drop itself down from its tree.  This one was just hanging in the middle of a trail as I walked by.

Of course, there are also the predators that pry on the spiders after they fatten up on smaller insects.  This well camouflaged Pickerel Frog was hiding and waiting close by.

I also saw my first Red Eft all summer.  It's been very dry, but all the rain last week finally brought some out in the open.
Notice the little red "British Solider" lichen in the picture.

Moving up the food chain a bit, our newest loon chick continues to grow.  Though still staying close to its parents, it is diving longer and learning how to fish. 

It's still a pretty fuzzy cute little bird though.

And then at the very top of the food chain, look who visited the lake this weekend:

This young bear was at an undisclosed site on the west side of Lake Wicwas; another reminder that even when food is plentiful, bears are opportunistic and will take the easy food whenever it's available!

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