Thursday, August 12, 2010

More "While I was Birding"...

Having been laid-off from my career, I am fortunate not to be unemployed.  I have been doing loads of manual labor for pennies, which is good for my soul.  It has put a damper on my birding, but I did get out on a couple family walks in the last week and took lots of photos.  Here are some of the non-birding photos I wanted to share (Remember, you can click on the photo to enlarge your enjoyment.):

Lady Bugs on Poison Hemlock
- Poison Hemlock is a very invasive noxious weed that we battle each year in the riparian areas...we just need our neighbors up and down stream from us to battle them with our same vigor.
Banded Garden Spider - I love these cool looking spiders, especially because they are catching loads of grasshoppers.  We are having the peak year in the seven-year grasshopper cycle.  They have killed almost all my landscaping, even having devoured two of my three evergreen trees.  I didn't even know they ate those!
I'm not sure which moth or butterfly this caterpillar turns into, but it sure was freaky-cool!  If you know what it is, please tell me!
This image gives my wife the willies.  Again, I don't know what kind of spider it is and my searches in books and online have left me wondering still.  It reminds me of Aragog, the giant creepy Harry Potter spider.  This guy was only the size of a dime and so I used my macro settings for this close-up.  What made it worse for my wife...while watching me edit these scary spider photos, we heard noises in the air supply vents in our ceiling.  Turns out that a deer mouse had gotten into our air ducts and we could see it squirming around up there trying to get out.  It was a long and dreadful night of little sleep as it made noises all night.  I'm not sure that I want to inject poison into the air supply of the whole house and I am also afraid that mouse droppings/urine will infect us all with the hauntavirus.  The air vent over our bed is still closed, and probably forever will be!
Here is a pair of those dang Two-stripped Grasshoppers, just making more of those plant-devastating pests.  "I hope that Garden Spider or a bird eats the both of ya before ya have any more kids!"
Western Yellow-jackets doing what they do best, making their paper mache nests in the least convenient to humans places as possible.  This is on the stone ledge of the gazebo overlooking my neighborhood ponds.  Several neighborhood kids have already been attacked by them.


  1. nice post - sorry to hear about the job. hope things turn around soon.

    the hairy spider is some sort of wolf spider or maybe jumping, but i am unsure - my guide book has a few spiders in it

  2. Yes, so sorry about your job.
    Very interesting post! Great shots but glad I missed being at your house the night of the deer mouse!!!

  3. Great photos Robert. It was really great to meet you at the Hummingbird Banding on Saturday. Keep up the great photos! I have linked this site to the Flight of the Peregrine blog.