Reflections

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I can’t resist the reflections and

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the distortion of water drops

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in their surroundings.

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Nature’s

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magnifying glass.

(this blog was completed in July)

Kenilworth Ivy

I found Kenilworth ivy blooming near the side door of our house on the 25th of November.

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Its small size blended in with the surroundings.

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The flowers measure from 5/8 inch wide to 1/4 inch front to back. The lobed leaves range from 1 inch to 1 1/4 inch. They grow on the sides of the castles in England. I’m not sure how my grandmother got hers. (I assume it’s family hand-me-down.)

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This must be the gnome of the ivy “woods.”

It’s a friendly-looking gnome.

Tree Personalities

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Who knew trees had such a personality?

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Stories could be made  up to go with the woody personalities.

 “There I was, right in the middle of a swamp. Something jumped in the water. And here came a snake, yes,  a snake.”

You can finished the story. Or get one of your little ones to finish it for you.

Evening Web Building

 I became interested in spiders and their webs during the first part of September,

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when I watched an orb weaver spider weave its web in the front yard for the night. ( I watched take it down the next morning.)

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The color varied from the changing angle of the sun, the color of it and surrounding darkening colors.

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Obviously, the sun made for a dramatic picture too.

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I don’t remember if there was a breeze or not. Cars and trucks passed on the highway. I ignored them.

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I can’t explain what caused this picture to turn out like it did. It had to be a combination of the light and sudden movement to create those web shapes.

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The spider went round and round, patiently building its web.

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I almost ran out of daylight. I would’ve of liked to see what the spider caught for its evening meal.

… It had already taken the web down before I got up the next morning.

Close Relatives

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  Slugs and snails are close relatives … a slug is a snail without a shell.

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Both are gastropods,

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and both have tentacles with eyes.

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Snails carry their shell on their back and

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can seal off the opening to keep from drying out.

Strange Spider Web

This dead pear tree has quite a history.

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Now it houses a spider whose web is about 3 feet high in the tree.

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The silk is so fine the web would be hard to spot if it wasn’t for the “stuff” in it. The “stuff” looks like sawdust. Woodpeckers do visit the tree and “sawdust” would fall when there was activity above … or the spider added it when spinning the web.

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These three pictures of the web weren’t taken on the same day.

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It was an active place when the tree was alive and producing fruit. I have no idea what’s included in the “stuff” in the line … unless it’s somehow young spiders. (They are spider egg cases.)

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The pears would rot and drop when the tree was alive. The rotten fruit then attracted many, many butterflies and other insects  too.

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Red-spotted purple butterflies visited flowers.

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The viceroy resembles a monarch, only the monarch lacks the extra black band on the hindwing.

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Besides the rotten fruit, the hackberry butterflies will also visit animal droppings and carrion.

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A question mark butterfly joined the hackberries. If you look close, you’ll see a faint gold upside-down question mark in the middle of its hindwing.

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The buckeye butterflies have an eye spot on the top of the forewing and two spots of different sizes on their hindwing.

I plan to enjoy the pear tree until it’s all fallen down.

A Miniature Redbird

Buffy accompanied me out in the backyard, to walk around and see what we could see.

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I must say I’ve never seen a red bird such as this one. It’s actually made of leaves, and is perched high in the pine tree in my backyard. I can’t imagine the chances of leaves “making a bird,” especially one with an eye, white eye ring, both beaks and a long tongue. Now I need a name for it. Obviously, it has to be a new species.

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  I couldn’t see the details in this picture from a distance, and I didn’t see them until I got the picture in the blog.

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 Now I need a name for it … because it must be a new species.