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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Spiders, Etc. at the Flatwoods (Updated)

It wasn't oppressively hot after work the other day, so Charles & I went for another hike at the local, endangered-but-protected, wet longleaf pine savanna, the Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve. The golden orb weavers are starting to show considerable numbers.
For those who don't like spiders (Travis,) I'll post them at the end (& warn you when we get there,) so you can skip them.

Male Ebony jewelwing. Sorry for the blur, but he was far away in a dark spot.

Update, 9/25/10; Male atlantic grasshopper (thanks to David J. Ferguson for the ID.)

Georgia satyr on mystery flower. Thanks to renowned Louisiana lepidopterist, Vernon Antoine Brou, for the ID.

Some kind of wild pea (I'm still awaiting a formal ID on this, as well. Suggestions always welcome.)

Male blue dasher.

Female blue dasher.

Some kind of bidens. After some years of searching & requesting input from others, I'm still at a loss as to the particular species.

This sunset denotes the end of the non-spider portion of this post.

Black & yellow garden spider (apologies for the blur. It was the best I could do.)

Golden orb weaver. The female is the larger & brighter of the pair.

Female golden orb weaver in web.

Here a female golden orb weaver has caught a cicada (often mistakenly referred to as "locusts,") with a fly conveniently perched on it. The small spider above her is a male golden orb weaver. If you follow my link on the cicada, it will bring you to a page with time-lapse photography of one specimen molting it's shell.

Here's some good news regarding TNC's work toward restoring longleaf pine savannas in my area. Read more about the East Gulf Coastal Plain.

In other good news, it appears that the vestibular migraine diagnosis is correct. Within days of changing my diet I felt so much better. I haven't had vertigo since then and any lingering dizziness is rapidly fading. Thank you, oh, THANK you, Dr. Moloney!


Charles Gramlich said...

Looks like that male Golden Orb Weaver is about to cut him off a slice of that well endowed female. :)

Michelle (artscapes) said...

Gorgeous images!
And great news... I get menstrual migraines with unsteadiness, etc. They are worse under stress, but I have learned to avoid a few of those foods on the list and it helps!! Especially the chocolate and the salt - the very things I crave at that time. LOL!

eric1313 said...

Love the yellow and black garden spiders. I have a few shots of them from Arkansas... and believe it or not, they live all the way up here in Michigan... but only when brought into state on loads of flowers, particularly Geraniums. My mom hates spiders and enlists us to go rid them, but a few years ago she had one of these guys living in a crumble geranium leaf in the rain, and at night it would spin a whole new web. She kept him a secret from her husband and told us to leave him alone... We teased mom that she had given half a chance and viola! she had made a new friend... So he lived on into the frost season. And she had even mentioned him again this summer, said she missed her yellow and black friend. Probably reminded her of Tennessee, I think.

Glad you are doing better! Take it easy.

Erik Donald France said...

That's great on health stuff and pine savannah restoration. Good beans!

This post's title and pix reminds me of a book I read a week ago, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. In it, there are spider-eating ghosts, even. Sure to generate more dream images, these photos . . .

Travis Cody said...

Thanks for the warning about the creepy crawler pics. I enjoyed the other nature shots you had, in particular the sunset shot.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Travis Erwin said...

My boys love spiders I'll show them these when i get home from work.

debra said...

beautiful photos, Lana---even the spiders :-)

Lana Gramlich said...

Charles; I like the way you think. ;) *L*

Michelle (artscapes); Thank you. Yes, from what I understand my own hormonal changes after last year's hysterectomy & even the thyroid meds I'm on now also contribute. Some factors aren't controllable, of course, but thankfully some are!
(Speaking of chocolate & salt, I used to find Fritos + M&Ms perfect around those times. Sounds gross, but it was awesome.)

eric1313; Thank you! What a sweet story about your Mom. I know the feeling, as I've grown "friendly" with various spiders in my own lifetime.

Erik; Yes...wonderful beans, even though I can't eat many of them anymore. *L* "Life in the Bush of Ghosts." What a cool title! I saw a picture once of an Australian golden orb weaver working over a bird in its web.

Travis C.; NP on the warning. I have only the utmost respect for a man who respects Cake. ;) Despite the near-constant rain, I'm having a good weekend. I have a lot of framing to do for my Sept. "Artist of the Month" stint, so the weather's keeping my nose to the grindstone, in ways.

Travis E.; Let the boys know those female golden orb weavers get almost as big as your hand (legs included.) They'll appreciate that. ;)

debra; Thank you! There are some people who appreciate the creepy-crawlies and long-legged beasties!

Christina said...


Spiders fascinate me. Emory brought home a spider that looked like a Daddy Long Legs, but its body was gray and a little bigger. He didn't mean to bring it home, but it caught a lift on his clothes and Em didn't realize it until he was in the house. We got the little guy back outside, but he was probably a long way from his web.

I saw my first baby snake! I looked it up and it was a Florida Ring Snake. They're harmless and they're so small they look a little bigger than a worm when they're babies. He moved so quickly, I barely got his tail in a picture.

Dave Coulter said...

Great shots....I love those Ebony Jewelwings!

Esmerelda Crow said...

As usual, another good post with nice photos. Normally I hate spiders...I don't want to hate them, it's one of those irrational phobia type things. But I actually kind of like the yellow and black garden spiders, as long as they're not crawling ON my or anything. We have them in Illinois as well. The orb weavers look interesting, too...from a nice distance.

Lana Gramlich said...

Esmerelda Crow; Thank you kindly. I understand people not liking spiders--it's in our genes, I'm sure. I wouldn't want them ON me, either, but I don't mind enjoying them in their webs. :)

oldmanlincoln said...

I like your shots of the damsel flies and spiders. I bought a book to show the names of spiders but there are so many kinds. It would take forever to find one in the book.

Larry said...

I don't like spiders landing on me but do like the great photo of the orb weaver.Glad your diet changed worked.I've never had migraines but I've had vertigo where everything and that can be a scary sensation.

troutbirder said...

Wonderful sunset. I do occasionally tie some spider immitations as troutflies. Otherwise...... ;)

celticmusicfan said...

another visual treat from the queen of art.

bernie kasper said...

Great shots Lana, love the spiders you were able to capture, I especially love the Golden orb weaver !!

Scott (JournOwl) said...

I've never before encountered an Ebony Jewelwing; very cool! Thanks for the introduction.

Lana Gramlich said...

oldmanlincoln; Thanks. :) I totally hear you. I find that's a big problem with many insects, actually. If only there were an unabridged, easy to use guide, but I think those 2 things are diametrically opposed.

Larry; Thanks. I'm glad the diet's working, too. It was getting really impossible to deal with anymore, interfering with every aspect of my life.

troutbirder; Thanks. Tying spider-flies is close enough, of course!

celticmusicfan; You're too kind, hon. :)

bernie kasper; Thanks. There are SO many golden orb weavers out there right now (& they're all only getting bigger!)

Scott (JournOwl); Glad you enjoyed. They're rather interesting--their flight is much more "floppy" than that of dragonflies. Kind of hard to explain. If I get a chance to get some video, I'll definitely upload it.

Juliana Matthews said...

Firstly let me say how pleased I am that the debilitating vertigo seems to have abated. Soon have you back tightrope walking!

Great pictures of the eejy-beejies!
I rather like spiders and crawly things which is a good job living where i do as we are surrounded by woodlands, meadows and a river!

At the minute we are plagued by hornets and wassps and i have no affection whatsoever for them. We have a huge fig tree and this is the attraction. I am becoming a rival for the Williams sisters the way i can smash a hornet with one deft and powerful swipe of a flip-flop!
Smiles always.

Lana Gramlich said...

Juliana; Thanks for your kind comments. I'm delighted that the vertigo's finally subsiding. It only took 15 years to get a proper diagnosis. Better than 25 years, I s'pose!
Glad you don't mind the creepy-crawlies. Our house is in the middle of a pine forest, so they're all like our "neighbors."
I'm allergic to bees, etc., so hubby keeps our home area as free from such critters as he can, but we all live in relative harmony. Good luck with your own stinging insect problems, Serena! *L*

V said...

glad your diet helped your migraines

Lana Gramlich said...

V; Yes! I'm glad the doctor realized my vertigo problems WERE migraines. I would never have known!

Chrissy said...

These are a very beautiful set of photo's and I am glad your health problem has gone some way towards beings sorted. It sounds very disconcerting..

Lana Gramlich said...

Chrissy; Thanks. Yes, the balance issues had plagued me too much for too long. It's nice to feel steady again, finally!

Marvin said...

Great shots of the orb weavers. It always amazes me that they've been around all summer, but during late summer/fall they become so large and obvious they're impossible to miss seeing. It's almost like they suddenly arrive from out of nowhere.

Lana Gramlich said...

Marvin; It used to be moreso for me in particular, since I'm largely house-bound during the heat of summer. I'd start going out again in October and BAM! They were huge and they were everywhere. I bit the bullet this year, however, & tried to continue going out from time to time throughout the Summer. Nice to see them when they're small and first proliferating, too.
Thanks for the kind comment. I love the orb weavers. They're so lovely!

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