Posts Tagged ‘backyard’

Red Eared Slider

A  red-eared slider

“There’s a turtle in the back of the backyard,” shouted my husband.

I didn’t have any problems catching up with it. The angle it was walking toward the house made it easy to get close for taking pictures.

The male and female red-eared sliders both have a red patch on the side of their head.

They mate between mid-March and mid-June here in southern Illinois, and are active until mid October.

Composition in Green

I was walking around the backyard this morning, looking for spiders and their webs. The composition of the three or four sunlit greens was a pleasant surprise.

I didn’t expect to find such an artistic design, and one with a spider in its web.

Clouds to Admire

I went out in the backyard yesterday afternoon for a walk around the yard.

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I didn’t expect to see mountains of clouds. Some of the clouds were partially hidden behind trees in the east and south.

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The clouds continued to grow and expand.

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 Some of the clouds were only in the south and southeast.

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It almost felt like they would pass over me, low enough for me to touch or disappear into.

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It would’ve been nice if I’d been out watching the clouds approach and forming.

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Being outside, alone, it almost felt like I was in them. Like they were a gift.

A No-Name Mushroom

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These mushrooms grew at the base of a sweet gum tree in our backyard.

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I found them on November 24th last year

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and was excited over their appearance.

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 Rains kept me from taking more pictures until November 30. The largest one measured 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

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Mushrooms are beginning to frustrate me. I find ones I like and then can’t find them in any of my six mushroom books.

Oh well. I can still enjoy them anyway.

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.

 

Ponytail Plant

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I move my few houseplants outside in the summer, and place them at the base of a sweet gum tree. The ponytail plant (which is around 40 years old) is quite heavy and is at least four feet tall. There’s been more activity around it this summer than usual.

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A leaf-footed bug’s found plenty of hiding places.

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A daddy-longlegs stayed close for some reason,

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and a young praying mantis didn’t like my attention.

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And then this “showed up.” I walk a morning loop around our backyard, looking for spider webs to photograph, and have found several of these spider egg sacs. In all my years and years of hiking and camping, I’ve never seen one until this summer. So far I’ve found eight or nine of them.

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My oldest son told me they’re spider egg sacs. They’re quite a curiosity. I don’t know if there’s one egg in each or more than one. The spider has shed its skin and isn’t around.

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I just went out one last time to get pictures as close as I could. The egg sacs appear to be different now. The third one down from the top looks like the spider might be breaking out of the egg sac.

Lots of Dragonflies

Sorry about the quality of these pictures. The subjects didn’t land and pose.

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A short storm came through a little earlier. I came in to the computer, looked out the picture window and saw dragonflies flying 10 to 15 feet high over our backyard. They flew fast, flew only when the sun was shining, and didn’t land.

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According to my dragonfly books, they’re wandering gliders, are two inches long, and their range includes the U.S. and southern Canada. I was lucky to get the close-up on the one above. All I saw of them was their orange color.

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   They prefer temporary ponds and puddles in the open with bare spots and short vegetation. Here they were flying back and forth over our backyard.

They are the only dragonfly found around the world except for Europe.

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 Early in the evening, I saw lots of them across the highway, flying over the mowed area and over the corn. I stayed on our side of the highway to watch and photograph them. The early evening light shadowed the side of the corn and tree, making it easier to see the dragonflies.

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Like I said, they were fast flyers!  I’d just hold the camera on certain areas and snap the picture when several flew across the cameras’ field of view. A lot of the pictures didn’t turn out; others would if I snapped the picture in time. There are six in the picture above. There wasn’t any aiming the camera. I’d just hold the camera and wait for them to fly by.

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There are four in this picture.

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They flew so fast that their wings didn’t show in a lot of the pictures.

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I had to wonder what the people driving by thought about me standing out there aiming a camera across the highway.

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Wandering gliders are a medium-sized dragonfly, almost two inches long. Their hindwings are triangular and broad at the base. This allows them to fly around for hours.

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They feed mostly on aerial plankton.

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They have been gone two days now, and I really miss them. This was my first encounter with them … and I hope not the last.