Friday, May 30, 2014

Spiderlings on a Knockout Rose in the Rose Garden

It was a couple of weeks ago now that I went out to check on the plants in the rose and vegetable gardens. 

On one of the knockout roses, I saw a web covering a couple of the blooms. My first thought was that a tent caterpillar or other such critter had invaded.

But upon closer inspection, it became apparent that there were small beings crawling all over and around the webbed bloom. Spiderlings had been hatched and were frenetically scattering to and fro. 

I can't say they were cute or cuddly, but they were superbly interesting to watch.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Encountering a Runner with my Furry Companion, Darby

While Darby and I were out for an afternoon run this past weekend on the Rails to Trails at Black Creek Park, on the return leg of an out-and-back, we approached a fellow runner. 

As she got closer, I observed what appeared to be an expression of recognition on her face. So I immediately went into "Do I know her?! I don't know her?! Maybe I should know her!" mode. 

As we got within a few yards of one another, she pulled to a stop and asked, "Is that Darby?" I must have appeared bemused when I affirmed that it was. She proceeded to tell me that she had recently moved here from Hoover and had come across this blog while in search of places to run. She had read the blogs featuring Darby at Black Creek Park and on the Rails to Trails.

So recent transferee from Hoover, if you're still visiting here, we hope you enjoy our little stretch of woods, and Darby and I are glad to have met you!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lowland Marsh on the Cahaba River, Bibb County (Part 2)

Lowland Marsh on the Cahaba River in Bibb County, Alabama

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

An Inchworm, Caterpillar of the Geometer Moth

An Inchworm, Caterpillar of the Geometer Moth (Geometroidae sp.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Orchard Spider, an Orb Weaver

This young Orchard Spider (Leucauge venusta), who belongs in the Orb Weaver family, had hanged her web over my equally young tomato plants, and if I had a way to encourage it to stay there for the duration of the summer, I would have done so. While the bottom of its thorax is black-green-orange, the top side is predominantly silver with black and green accents. These spiders can be found through North and Central America.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Burrowing of the Carpenter Bee

I recently constructed a wooden structure to house my smoker and grill. I immediately stained the entirety of the outside and parts of the interior of the cabinet. But there were a few parts of the interior that I didn't get to, having run out of stain and sealer.

It didn't take long for the carpenter bees that heavily populate our area to locate the new pine and begin burrowing. Their jaws are incredibly effective and surprisingly noisy.

Now I'll have to hurry to finish the project, lest nothing be left to stain.

A collection of other posts involving bees or carpenter bees can be found here: Carpenter Bees.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Winter Dark Firefly (Ellychnia corrusca)

While outside tending the garden the other day, I noticed this bizarre-looking fellow slowly scaling the brick wall. Of course, I had a camera nearby, and of course, I took the opportunity to photograph him (or her).

The Winter Dark Firefly (Ellychnia corrusca) come out in late winter and early spring. They, like the more common fireflies seen in the summer, are bioluminescent. But the Winter Dark Firefly is much larger in size, coming in at about a half-inch or so.

There are several varieties of these lightning bugs, each with different color markings, including black, brown, red, yellow, and orange. Like other members of the beetle family, the Winter Dark Firefly defends itself by unleashing a smelly substance from its legs onto perceived predators.