Monday, October 30, 2006
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
This wolf spider seems kinda small for this nest. Maybe he took over the place after another spider left. Maybe he's just got some sort of inferiority complex for which he'd like to compensate.
I still felt like uber-nature babe for finally getting a picture of an in-view wolf spider next to a burrow. Generally they hide too fast and are too shy for me to get the shot -- at least in the time it takes for my kids to lose their patience and drag me away.
Monday, October 09, 2006
I was watching this spider when I scared it and it dropped with a dragline trailing behind it. At the point this picture was taken the spider was preparing to climb back up to its flower and wait again for prey (before it was so rudely interrupted). I'm usually more interested in watching the side of the creature where the eyes are, but in this case, I really liked how I could clearly see the hooks grab a hold of the silk.
On another note, I just watched "The Root of All Evil?" a program by Richard Dawkins on religion. It was fantastic. Here's Part 1 and Part 2 on YouTube, if anyone else is interested. I sought it out after his interview on Science Friday Talk of the Nation.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
This is a larger wolf spider in its burrow. These spiders are very shy and hide if they sense large motion around the burrow. I spotted the motion of the retreat into its burrow. To get the picture I had to wait a number of minutes before it even came out this far. I used my zoom lens to get this.
The hole was about an inch in diameter. I found a molted skin by the hole as well as the empty husks of yellow jackets. Desperately hungry yellow jackets carelessly searching for a meal anywhere are an easy meal for an ambush predator.
I found out how to tell the difference between a tarantula hole and a wolf spider burrow in one of my new books, A Field Guide to Desert Holes by Pinau Merlin. The wolf spider burrow has a "collar" of silk woven twigs and grass around the hole. It's theorized that this might be for flood control. The burrow can spiral twelve inches into the soil. A tarantula hole can be a half an inch larger in diameter, it's length is "J" shape, has no collar, and is often sealed with silk during the day.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Check out those antennae -- he's checking out the ladies. Actually, this was prolly the only beetle on the bush not engaged in sex. I bet he got some a few seconds later. It was a very friendly day in beetle town.