Menagerie Monday (8): Leggy Lurker

Just a little over a week ago I found this harvestman (order Opilones) resting on one of our white cone flowers (Echinacea sp.) and the breeze was kind enough to pause a few times while I focused in. I am always tempted to present new images of these little folk in a Webnesday post but, of course, they are not spiders, nor do they construct webs. Yes, they do have eight legs, but only one body segment (spiders have two) and only two eyes (most spiders have eight but some have six). Further, whereas the chelicerae of spiders support the fangs, those of harvestmen end in pincers. The eyes are those two tiny dots mounted up high, like a small saddle on an elephant. I find it really amazing that their vision is acute enough to permit them to walk around with confidence, among flowers and grasses and the like, with those extremely long and spindly legs. Much study has been devoted to the amazing eyes of jumping spiders but a quick internet search turned up no similar ones for those of the harvestmen. I did, however, find a Scientific American article that reported fossilized prehistoric intermediate versions that had four eyes (https://www.livescience.com/44740-daddy-longlegs-fossil-images.html).

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About Face (5a)

A couple of my blogging friends commented that the faces that I was seeing in our milkweed flowers and that I brought you in my last post were not that easy to pick out, so I went back out this morning with my newly-calibrated camera so I could try to make them more apparent. I made it there just before the wind picked up and hope these are clearer!

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About Face (5)

It’s been the better part of a year since I did an About Face post, and I’m happy to be able to present another. This afternoon CD asked me to make some photos of her hollyhocks and, when I was through, I kept looking around our garden and I wound up having a really close look at the milkweed, which is just coming into full flower. Has anyone else out there ever noticed that there are faces in the flowers if you look at them from the side rather than from above? I remember having noted this in the past, but only in passing, and having made a mental note to pursue the resemblance further, but seem not to have acted on it–until now. My workhorse camera is in the shop for calibration, so I took my new(ish) little Olympus out to see what we could do together. May this bring you a smile today!

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Serenity Sunday: Hydrangea Harmony

Managing to take a few more minutes out from much higher priorities, I stopped to admire the harmonic symmetry in the new growth of our oak-leaf hydrangea yesterday.    

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Webnesday (44)

Not much time for photography these days, but when I went out to pick up the mail today, I noticed a truly-tiny zebra jumper (Salticus scenicus) prowling along the stems of the Clematis that climbs up the stand for the mailbox each year. I was very pressed for time, but I managed to take five minutes out from other priorities for a quick portrait session.

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Serenity Sunday: Solomon’s Seal

One of our favorite plants in the garden is the lovely Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum sp.). CD asked me to make a few portrait shots the other day, and the light and breeze conditions were perfect for it yesterday evening. As I was focusing in on some of the flowers, I noticed what I believe was a very young katydid. So I said to myself, “Self, where there’s one there may well be another,” and upon further searching, my hunch turned out to be right. They are only about a centimeter long, and I consider myself quite lucky to have made their brief acquaintance. I plan to have another look today to see if I can find them again!

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Melancholy Monday: Memorial Day

We decided to attend the Memorial Day celebration today in the Prospect Hill Cemetery,  the oldest cemetery in Omaha. Part of the observance included a spectacular demonstration by the First Nebraska Volunteers, a group of uniformed Civil War re-enactors. The weather could not have been better, and there was a wonderful turnout. It is good to be reminded of the selfless sacrifices made by those who have defended us and those who continue to do so.

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