In these first weeks of fall, we have been
richly blessed with sights and sounds of
natural wonders all around. Like this
uncommon early morning rainbow Judy saw.
|And how about this cooperative praying mantis who|
posed on our birdbath?
|He's the only insect that can turn his head.|
But he didn't try to prove it that day,
ignoring me completely.
|Checking under logs around our woodpile to see|
what we could discover we were delighted to find
North Carolina's wonderful Red-spotted Newt.
Click that link to learn more about this salamander.
|The link shows the remarkable changes in appearance|
the newt undergoes during its life cycle.
|The same day, this butterfly decided to put on a show|
for Bri and Hunter.
In this humorous video, they observe the
butterfly, shrieking with delight when it
takes off. They are off in hot pursuit to
keep up, crouching to watch it again.
Hunter keeps blowing on its wings, I guess
to help it fly. Finally we mercifully leave
I'm sure you've seen plenty of these
beautiful colors around courtesy of
crape myrtles and dogwoods.
Bri and Hunter didn't have a monopoly
on wild things. Claire and Evan got to
watch this hump-backed orb-weaver at work.
Next to watching a spider build a web, the
second coolest thing is to feed them. Not
many bugs were handy, but I found a small
sowbug (pillbug/roly-poly bug) and tossed
it into the web. After a few moments, its
slight twitching assured the spider it wasn't
just the wind, and he made his move.
Here's about a minute of video of the
spider tightly wrapping his tasty morsel,
perhaps to save for an evening snack.
That wasn't the last nature discovery that
day. Out in our field, we noticed small
flying insects floating everywhere. I tracked
them down to a spot on the ground and called
Judy and the kids over. These are ants setting
out to establish new colonies for next spring.
No wonder we have the little anthills everywhere.
Not to be confused with winged termites, which
also swarm seasonally.
Well, how's that for a full load of nature,
without even leaving the yard. Gotta go now,
though. It's time to feed the spider!