25 June ’19
So scarce these past two years that seeing this very handsome young lady among a patch of lavender had me smiling from ear to ear.
The rule of thirds is a standard photographers use to frame their images. You divide the frame into a grid of three across and three down, and then don’t put your subject in the middle square.
Thanks to Nancy over at ….
According to NASA Cyclone Kenneth has just been upgraded to a category 4 hurricane and will hit landfall (Eastern Africa) later today (25th).
We’ve just had a heavy downpour with hail battering everything for around ten minutes.
And to think that it was bright and sunny when I went for my morning constitutional.
Oh well … time to break out the Wellies.
Crab Spider and Fly
Brown Button and prey.
A second Citrus Swallowtail caterpiller I found and brought inside.
Rescuing a trapped dove.
Benji giving me the eye
Found this little one while moving a few bricks. Yes, I was a bit surprised!
The Butterfly finally emerged from the Chrysalis. I missed the actual event as I was out for my morning jog.
But when I got back this was what greeted me. Isn’t she beautiful?
Benji has no patience and decides to help himself.
Carpenter Bee takes a breather to refuel.
And one for Nan ….. What would a photo review be without a least one spider pic?
Hadeda Ibis flying home.
Female Brown Button with her egg sacs.
There were originally three sacs, but this morning I noticed a fourth -the one she is next to. Inspecting, protecting?
I saw movement and so that I could get a closer look, I gently blew on her and she quickly scurried back to her nest in the corner.
And when I bent down and squinted I was able to identify the source of the movement.
Meet the kids!
Hardly larger than tiny bread crumbs – two Brown Button Spiderlings.
Since the arrival of the hens, and their relentless pecking, certain insects have been thin on the ground – literally in some cases – so it was something to smile about when I found this young lady yesterday.
Maybe with the onset of the rainy season here in Johannesburg more insects will soon make an appearance?
Pink Flower Crab Spider.
Okay, call me mad – you certainly won’t be the first, I can assure you, and probably not the last, but I believe that, irrespective of the species, limb damage needs a certain amount of physiotherapy.
To this end, I take Mrs Bert out of her abode a couple of times a day and with a bit of cajoling, get her to perambulate across my hand and up and down my arm.
Like any ”athlete” in training she will also get a few drops of water.
As can be seen here, she will dunk one of her pedipalps and then take a sip while giving her fangs a bit of a wash in the process.
I also stroke her damaged legs, in an effort to encourage her to move them. I am flying by the seat of my pants here, of course, but she seems to be more mobile.
Odd thing. Once I place her on my hand she seems reluctant to leave and has to be prodded off!
Oh, well, if she’s content and doesn’t bite me then I’m okay with it.
”Oi! Senor! You can tell the time, I presume? That’s why you’re wearing a watch, right? So where’s my dinner, then eh?”
A bit more exercise I think.
”Good grief”. What does an arachnid have to do get a meal around here?”
Try a bit of abseiling. And use every one of your legs if you please!
”Okay, okay. Enough already. Bloody slave driver. I’m going to see Ems. We girls must stick together!”
”Smooth! Do I get my supper now?”
And talking of Smooth ….
Photos taken this evening.
Click on either image if you want an even closer view.
She has been eating over the past three days, which is a relief (she is eating in these photos) and she looks as if she is on the mend.
Certainly she has filled out a little and lost that emaciated look, but she is still not fully active yet, her right side – the one she shed a severely damaged leg – is a concern, as you may be able to discern from the top photo, but she is moving a little, which is progress.
I am still hopeful she fully recovers, but this may now take more time than I originally anticipated and may will include one or two more molts – maybe she will even shed another leg?
Besides, the last thing I want to do is see her fatten up, release her, only to encounter a wasp after 5 minutes.
So it looks as if she may remain a guest for a while.
Fine by me.
She is such a well behaved young lady!
While tidying up a few old plant pots during my official ”Tea Break”, I came across this little feller.
And little is the operative word.
2 -5mm tops.
This guy is not harmful to humans in the least.
I don’t see them that often so this was a treat.
Cute, eh? ( Nan, don’t answer that!)
A few weeks ago as I was walking up the path to the shed I saw this ….
an adult Pompilid Wasp had caught a juvenile Rain Spider, and after stinging and paralyzing it, was proceeding to drag it back to its nest. Once there -if it had not done so already – it would deposit an egg in the spider, and after around 20 days the lavae would hatch and proceed to eat the still-very-much-alive spider inside out.
If you have watched any of the Alien movies you will know what is install for the spider.
As much as I really wanted to save the spider I have learned from painful experience that once a spider is in this predicament there is usually little one can do.
At that moment, one of our cats emerged from behind the shed and the wasp flew off, leaving the paralyzed spider on the path.
Pick it up?
Of course, if the wasp can’t have one spider it will track down and paralyze another. That’s nature.
So I decided to leave well alone and prepared to wait for the wasp’s return. However, after ten minutes the wasp was a no show. I waited another ten and still no wasp. After twenty minutes it was a fair guess the wasp was not coming back.
So … I picked up the spider and brought it into the shed.
As unlikely the chance of survival, there was at least a chance that the wasp had not deposited its egg in the spider.
After a day or two he seemed to respond a little but there was still serious paralysis caused by the venom and especially on his right side.
Here you can just see the spider is moulting, shedding for the first of several times. There is sign of recovery, but there is still chance the wasp may have laid its egg.
The extant of the damage eventually caused the spider to shed its right back leg, and the remaining three legs on this side are still not functioning properly.
However, this weekend sees the 24th day since the wasp attack and although looking a little thin, and still not managing to eat yet, the spider is at ,least taking a little daily water and seems to be gamely hanging in there,
and, I am happy to report even tried to bite me yesterday, which I consider a good sign.
Whether he will fully recover, remains to be seen.
Sometimes, being in the right place at the right time means one gets to play International Rescue.
Tetragnatha sp. (Tetragnathidae)
Long Jawed Orb Weavers.
These guys hang out around the edges of the pond stringing web from the pool edge to the reeds.
If you’d like to see what else they can do with their webs, have a look at Notes post! Truly spectacular.
Flower Crab Spider on Cosmos.