Sunday, June 6, 2010

Soaked Sunday

Today was another rainy day off.  I got some laundry and some vacuuming done.  I was hoping to be able to take the dog for a long walk today, but when I took him out for the first time in the morning, it was too hot and humid for both of us.  The humidity was followed by some short thunderstorms and more humidity.  I managed to get out in the yard for some photos but I had to wait for my lenses to adjust to the conditions outside and for the fog to fade away from them.
I found a lot of the usual suspects and looked for any changes with the plants in the yard.  The spiders caught my eye today more than the flowers did.  The first one is a close look at an Orchard Orb Weaver.  I have shown you this little spider a few times before, but I don't think that I have caught the interesting pattern on its underside before.  It almost looks like a smiley face!

Another spider was close by.  A Basilica Spider had a web almost touching the Orb Weaver.  Like the Orb Weavers, the Basilica Spider is named for the web that it builds.  There is a big tangle of fine webbing surrounding a dome in the center of the web.  The spider waits below the dome for another insects to get stuck to its web.  You can see how fine the webbing is in this photo.  Its an easy web to miss.  This spider is about the same size as the Orchard Orb Weaver, only a millimeter or two long.  Without the macro lens, you wouldn't be able to see as much of this spiders beautiful patterns.

There is still Tropical Sage blooming all over the yard.  When the first one popped up, I watched it carefully.  Now that I see there is so much of it in all of my gardens, I haven't hesitated to mow it down in the areas outside of the gardens.

The Aloe had caught a little rain puddle from today's showers.  I imagine that some insects or maybe even a lizard or frog will benefit from this fresh pool of water.

I had to look closely, but some of the other plants were still hiding a few drops of water from the hot sun.

Thought of the Day #18
Plants usually take up water from the soil through their roots.  Excess water evaporates from the leaves and the cycle continues to pull water from the soil.  If needed though, plants can also take water back in through the leaves and distribute it to dry areas of the plant.  If the soils dry out from the heat of the Florida sun and the short afternoon rains do not soak the soil again, the leaves of the plants can pull water in to cool and moisten the plant.  Some plants, like the Aloe, are succulents and can store excess water for use later.

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