A Spider Hiding

I’m not sure of  the spider terminology involved in this web.

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A spider constructed a rolled or curved-leaf web. It looked to be a two-room nest. You can see the end of its abdomen in the lower part of the left slit. It looked to be either a two-room nest or a hall-like structure.

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The backside had a completely different appearance, with no escape possible.

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I think it got tired of me and went lower in the web to hide in this last picture.

Double-Ringed Pennant

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 A double-ringed pennant (Celithemis verna) didn’t mind my attention this morning and posed for a few pictures. This is a male; the females have a yellowish thorax and a little yellow on base of  their abdomen.

Yard Walk-about

Insect numbers have increased lately.

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I’m not sure what a short-horned grasshopper found interesting on the sedum.

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If you look close on the right of the two front petals, you’ll find a small plant hopper.

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Apparently something tried to capture this pearl crescent butterfly.

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A slug slowly made its way around to the back side of the leaf.

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 The  dragonfly sure didn’t pick an attractive perch.

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The crab spider looked like part of the leaf from a distance.

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I couldn’t see through the silk to see if there was either an egg mass or larvae on the white dogwood leaf.

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The spider that spun the nest is to the left partly under the long strands of silk.

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A hanging insect  — in this case a skipper — can mean either a crap spider or ambush bug. From what little that shows, it has to be an ambush bug.

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A moth waiting patiently for the night.

Second Bloom

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A surprise greeted me when I walked by the butterfly garden — the flower-of-the-hours had decided to have a second bloom.

The bug’s pink didn’t quite match.

The flowers all closed by noon.

Summer’s Last Bloom

Trumpet creeper vines grow to 30 feet tall.

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Its last flower grows to 3 inches long,

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and is a favorite food source for hummingbirds and bumblebees.

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The pods grow from three to six inches long, with the wind dispersing their flat seeds.

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A plant hopper posed for a picture.

Illinois River Cruiser

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Shock of all shocks … making a loop of the backyard, taking pictures. This Illinois River Cruiser dragonfly landed and just “hung” there. I started taking pictures as I slowly moved closer. It cooperated!

Illinois river Cruisers (Macromia illinoiensis) measure 2.8 inches long. There’s a southern and a northern form of the river cruiser. Together, their range covers most the eastern half of the country.

Interesting Ants

I’ve been redesigning my reflexology stone path recently, and have spent a lot of time sitting near the catalpa tree in my special place.

During all this, I noticed ants on two exposed roots, and going up and down the tree.

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Why? What’s up there for the ants?

I started to remove the seeds from a pod so I could remove the papery covering down to the actual seed. A silky web covered what I thought at first was an egg mass.

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Cropping showed they were larval cocoons. They’re like eggs only much larger.

I have a new book: Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates by Charley Eiseman and Noah Charney.

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The larval cocoons were gone the next morning. I wasn’t sure, but it looked like a predator found them.

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The small form on the left looked like a larva.

At least I solved the mystery of why the ants hurried up and down the catalpa tree.

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