Thursday, July 06, 2006

Well, Of Course It's Raining NOW...

Yesterday, I fixed the irrigation system that waters a "flower" bed that runs around one half of our house. Today, I pulled the boat out from under the canopy, fixed a bucket of steaming hot "TOP JOB", grabbed my scrub brush, and headed out to scrub our boat from bow to stern.
...Oh, and I ran the sprinklers for about two hours this morning.

So, of course now it's raining like crazy.

Since I'm trapped inside for awhile, I thought I'd post a few more critters from my photo walk.


This girl has produced a "stabilimentum
" in her web. I read a study once that showed putting fake stabilimentum cut from paper into webs reduced the number of bird web collisions. I like the idea of a bird warning device as it seems like a lot of work to keep repairing webs wrecked by clumsy cardinals, thrashers, and other woodsy birds.


I don't know this fly...and that's okay with me. I thought he might be one of our nasty biting yellow flies, but I usually see them smashed so it's hard to tell. Bugnerds?


Here's a mud dauber at work, making work for me. The boat is loaded with these nests, on the paddles, on the life jackets, under the bow. Grrrrr! This one was working away on my porch.

Just great fun to clean them from the porch...NOT! When you knock them off the wall or ceiling, the fall to the porch floor and shatter into a zillion bits of dirt and paralyzed spiders.

The rain has stopped...back to boat cleaning. Posted by Picasa


pablo said...

I'm glad you got some rain. Did it make any difference in your pond level?

Also, what about this boat? That should be a worthy topic for some posts, eh?

Mrs. S said...

I read my husband the last paragraph, after showing him the picture of the giant-looking wasp-thing... and he started "brushing himself off" the way people do when they think there's a bug on them.

I was much calmer, I merely shuddered involuntarily and wrinkled my nose. ;)

Leslie said...

That spider is beautiful! We used to have a bunch that were similar, when I was a kid growing up in Georgia. We called them writing spiders. One put an egg sac in a window and it lasted *almost* through the winter. We reassured one another that certainly the egg sac was strong enough to have lasted until the babies hatched successfully. I hope it did.

Hurricane Teen said...

Ahh yes. It always seems that the yellow flies come out just in time for 4th of July picnics and stick around for pretty much the rest of the summer. We used to have one of those banana spiders as out "class pet" when I was in 7th stayed in a web just like that one for a couple months right outslide the window of my English class. Very interesting to watch. Anyway, enjoy your cleaning, and by dang send some of that rain over here!!!

robin andrea said...

Great spider, FC. What a beauty. Glad to hear you got some rain, too. Enough to make any difference?

threecollie said...

Wonderful photos with your new camera. I like the egret one even with the focus on the flowers in the foreground. It sort of captures the elusive wildness of the moving bird, as if the viewer were really seeing it in the outdoors.
Also thanks for the recipe.

Deb said...

Is that a banana spider? I remember something like that from my grandparents' place. The first couple of days we had to memorize where all the webs were so we wouldn't run through them accidentally. When my brother and I got our first Minolta SRT-201's, we took a few Kodachrome slides of these guys.

That last sentence makes me feel really OLD! :)

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I think, FC, that that is a Whooping Fly. There are only about 32 of them left...

thingfish23 said...

Bugnerd #1 says that your mystery dipteran is a male syrphid fly, but that's a guess. I'm 75% sure, I think. I mean, I might be... Maybe not.

edifice rex said...

Mud daubers, or dirt daubers as we call them, are aggravating but as a potter, I can't help but admire their wonderful clay skills.

Floridacracker said...

Well, every little bit helps, but I need a slow moving tropical storm. The boat has sat toooooo much this year, she goes in Monday for a little work, and then back on the Gulf. I do get to go clam farming again Saturday, so stay tuned...

Mrs. S,
I take it you don't have mud daubers up there?

Writing spiders? I wonder where that name could have come from?

Hurricane Teen,
Sorry, can't spare any precious rain...get your own storm! :)

It was a good lawn wetting, but the pond needs a lot more.

I had that "elusive wildness" feeling too...that's why I did not delete it even when it came out different from what I intended.

That's what we call them even tho Banana Spider is just a local common of the orb weavers I think...genus starts with A...THINGFISH!

I didn't honestly think it was going to be the yellow fly...something looked different. Thanks for the ID.

I found a different type today that you have to see, I'll post it tomorrow if possible. Beautiful branching jugs of clay all linked together. A new one for me.

Mrs. S said...

I'm not sure if we have mud daubers up here or not - I've never seen any, at any rate - but you can bet I'd avoid them if we did ;)

Floridacracker said...

Mrs. S,
As wasps go mud daubers are very mellow and not prone to attack. They also control the spider pop which is okay by me too. I just wish they would pick some other place to build their nests.

Wayne said...

I was thinking the spider was an argiope - maybe a silver argiope? A black and yellow Argiope? Looks like some of ours.

I'll defer to TF on the syrphid fly - I can dig it.

I've been watching our dirt daubers recycling last year's pottery efforts, but then it's been pretty dry here.

Looks like you're having fun with your new camera, and doing very well with it. And no developing!

Rurality said...

E. Rex obviously misses the correct pronunciation of this critter in our area, which is of course dirt dobber! ;)

Someone told me that they don't sting, but I've never wanted to get close enough to verify it.

Floridacracker said...

They sting, but they don't attack.
I know from personal experience that if you mistakenly place your hand on one, they will sting.

Floridacracker said...

Argiope! That's the A word that I could not remember.

roger said...

looks like you got the hang of your new camera pretty well. the mud daubers will put nests inside of all sorts of stuff. nice spider shot.


Floridacracker said...

thanks.newfangled digithingies make it easy...

Thunder Dave said...

I've got mixed feelings: I like spiders because they kill flies and mosquitos, but they creep me out. The Mud Dobbers kill spiders, but they leave the mud nests everywhere. No point here, just sahring my thoughts!

Hick said...

Okay...great pictures...good commenting...wonderful responses...and all that...what's with the "flower" bed? How come there are no pictures of the "flowers"? Are your "flower" beds just a staging area for bug pictures? Then, maybe you should call them "bug" beds. Or, you could do what I do and plant fake flowers. Heh!

Floridacracker said...

me too.

Did I say "flower bed"...I meant to say, "flowerless bed".
We greet each new plant with a cheery, "Welcome to hell farm".
Only the tough survive...