Friday, November 27, 2009

We're Having Leftovers

Its day off number two and I spent most of the day at home.  I have photos leftover from last weekend that I didn't have room for, so here they are now.  The first one is the web of a Bowl and Doily Spider.  Webs like this one and other similar Sheet-webs are easy to see on a dewy morning, close to the ground.  These spiders do not have webs that are as sticky as Orb-weaver Spiders, but they use the structure of their web to catch prey.  The finer strands at the top can knock a small flying insect out of the air and into the bowl of the web.  The spider hides beneath the bowl and breaks through to pull down the tangled and struggling catch.

Here are a couple of critters that have learned to take shelter at the restrooms on cold days.  The building holds a little bit of heat and definitely blocks the cold breeze.  The first one is a Tree frog in the restroom window.  The windows are always very appealing to frogs and lizards!  The second picture is a Regal Jumping Spider who is hiding behind the brochures.  Have no fear, arachnophobes, the spider only jumps on prey and is quick to hide when someone takes a brochure.

The next two photos are of one of my favorite trees in the park.  Though it isn't very impressive now, the Red-bud Tree will be covered in pale purple flowers in early spring while everything else is still brown.  I love seedpods like these and the heart-shaped leaves are beautiful as well.  I will be sure to have photos to share with you when it is in bloom.

Near the Red-bud, Horsemint was in bloom.  It is a very unique wildflower.

The day that I took these photos was not a busy day at the park.  There were very few visitors, but I did have to spend some time cleaning up after some very messy and inconsiderate park visitors... the Squirrels.  They really enjoy our flat surfaces, like benches and picnic tables.  They will sit and feast on pine cones, or in this case, Hickory nuts and leave a big mess behind.  I have found that bundles of green pine needles that fall from the trees make great, impromptu hand brooms to tackle messes like these.

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