Posts Tagged ‘harvestmen’

Lincoln: Wilderness park

July 7, 2013

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Jacky spotted a leafhopper on my camera strap. With a certain amount of twisting and turning, I was able to point the camera at its own strap.

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This morning, Jacky and I met Loren and hiked Wilderness park.

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In contrast to yesterday’s open, windy grassland prairie, today’s hike was forested, full of poison ivy and other low ground cover, and replete with mosquitoes.

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As always, we kept an eye out for small animals, and even found a few.

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One of the high points was the nest of spider hatchlings.

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The black dots are eyes; it’s easy to see four and, depending on your imagination, six or maybe even more.

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Here (above) we see four main eyes and a pair of running lights on the side.

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The wolf spider has two headlights, four parking lights, and two rear-window lights. It’s hard to sneak up on a spider!

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I thought this bee was terrific, as it hugs itself onto the flower.

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But the real discovery of the day was harvestmen. I have been watching for them constantly, but these are the first I have seen in Nebraska. There were so many that I eventually stopped photographing each new one we came across. Nice!

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We came back into town for a quick fast-food lunch, then went our separate ways for the afternoon. We’ll meet Loren’s new wife Sandra at their house this evening, along with Allison.

Small animals without killer hikes

May 12, 2013

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Yesterday, I needed to cover a certain distance, and although I noticed a lot of small animals, I didn’t really seek out the ones that weren’t obvious. It was also difficult to photograph them because of the wind.

Today, I went to Arastradero open space at 7 AM, resolved to go infinitely slowly and watch for small animals. especially near the water. If I get in a mile or two of hiking, that’s fine, but that’s not the point.

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Today’s supply of small animals started straightaway, down the crack in the bench where I paused to lace up my shoes.

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And it only got better. A 7-legged harvestman was perched atop the fence, just waiting the chance to be immortalized by the photographer.

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I really like these little guys, not least because they are everywhere but largely unknown.

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The fat abdomen suggests a female crane fly.

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What a beautiful face!

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With faces like that, it’s probably not surprising that they mate facing opposite directions. Notice the slender waist of the male.

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These last two pictures from a pair I found at home.

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Everyone out looking for a little sex.

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Or a little food. This is one well-fed spider! Look at that hollowed-out aphid!

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It’s also an ordinary day, on which one of the chores is to manage the livestock.

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And if you happen to be delicious, to avoid being too visible.

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The early birds get the dew.

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And the late sleepers ought to be embarrassed! Who ever heard of a bee sleeping, and upside down at that!

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Whazzat?

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As the morning warmed up, the small animals took shelter from the heat. By 10, I was ready to call it a day.

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Mid-afternoon, I tried a run. I have had sore muscles for several weeks, and although I can hike and ride, the pain is exacerbated by running. But with effectively zero exercise the two previous weekends, I thought I’d give it a try.

About 4 miles to the nearby REI, running, feeling good, where I bought a new pair of hiking boots. The old ones are good friends, but they are coming apart at the seams.

Geneva — small animals

September 10, 2012

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Arrived in Geneva fairly early, about 7:15. It takes no time to get through the overhead in Geneva, so I was at my hotel by 8, which of course had no room ready for me. Dumped off my luggage and went out to enjoy the day. Sunny, a cool day to start with, but promising to be quite warm later.

The hotel (Admiral) is at the edge of the red-light district, and as I left the hotel — and again over the subsequent days — any number of nice young women invited me to be their friend. Well, maybe not necessarily that nice, and maybe not necessarily that young, but as far as I know, they were all women…

If I’m interested in finding and photographing small animals, the greenery along the shore is probably the best place to go, with the botanical gardens as perhaps the most likely to be fruitful. Lo and behold, the first small animal I found was a harvestman! In Geneva, of course, it needs a French name: un faucheur (thanks, Sylvain!).

Cool! Over the course of the next few hours, I actually found four more harvestmen. Nice to see them flourishing here.

Who would photograph a fly? Well… I would, I guess. If we hadn’t seen so many of them, we would think of them as complex and interesting animals in their own right.

The botanical gardens include a strip along a little stream, with tiny falls and rills and ponds. In the ponds, we find frogs…

And frogs that have not yet developed fully…

And water boatmen.

Not a whole lot of dragonflies, but I found one that was willing to pose briefly for pictures.

It was getting on into the afternoon, so I went back to the hotel, got my room, took a short nap. My friend Shan arrived mid-afternoon; it’s her first time in Geneva. She’s staying at a hotel called f6, which seems pretty nice.

We walked (again) through the park and botanical gardens, then checked out the old town. The high point was getting into the cathedral just a few minutes before the conclusion of an organ concert. Great sound!

We shared entees at a Lebanese restaurant and called Saturday complete.