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
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 ….
My friend, Mrs R, was always an arachnophobe, and was not at all interested in Mrs Bert, our perfectly harmless rescued rain spider.
She would not even come near when I first introduced her, but slowly, over the past few weeks, every time she has visited she has taken an interest.
And unbeknownst to us all, Mrs R had a secret goal: She was determined to conquer her fear of spiders.
So yesterday, she decided the time was right. Initially she grabbed my wrist so tightly I thought the blood supply had been cut off! Then she averted her eyes while the spider very gently crawled onto her hand.
Bert is still semi-invalid so there was no super fast scurrying, but rather a very tentative exploratory dabble with her front legs.
After a few moments of trembling, she looked at the spider who had hardly moved, released her vice-like grip on my wrist and was able to pose long enough for Ems to take a photo.
Believe me, to go from pants-wetting fear to this, is quite an achievement, make no mistake.
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!)
Recovery is a slow process it seems, and feeding him is becoming an issue. We offered two small crickets but he declined. Well, we know one escaped and the other was not in the container when we went to look later. It may have escaped too. We’re not sure as the lid wasn’t firmly secured.
Later, Ems found a roach. Bert initially bared his fangs and made the move. However, it seemed a bit too much to ”get his teeth into” so, after an hour or two, I let the roach go.
We will call at the Pet Shop tomorrow and see if my main man Dave, has any more crickets.
Meanwhile … Bert enjoyed his walk around the garden – nothing like a bit of sunshine to perk up the spirits – and is now back in the box.
We haven’t given up on our Rescued Arachnid.
What’s happening here is a bit of Incy Wincy physiotherapy. Ems is gently massaging the damaged limbs with a soft paint brush to encourage movement. The spider reacts by raising its legs , sometimes in a gesture that can only imply it is somewhat fed up with all the attention.
But he is not moving as freely as we’d hoped. Well, not yet at any rate , so he will just have to get over his Attitude Issue and suffer the indignation of Medical Attention a la Ark’s Spot and jolly well be grateful!
Yesterday I took a turn with the brush and he showed exactly how he felt about my ministering by biting me on my second finger just below the knuckle. Broke skin too! Bloody ungrateful little sod.
Still no success feeding him yet, but his lack of mobility may have something to do with this.
Oh, well, we can but try.