Blog of Cris Koonce
""Will you walk into my parlor?" said the spider to the fly;"
Green Lynx Spider
I first noticed the green lynx spider about 8 years ago. Hubby, Bill and I were on a walk in our relatively rural neighborhood. At the edge of one of the fields were growing a lot of amazing looking wild flowers called eryngo. Eryngo are vibrant deep purple in color, covered in spines (even the leaves are spiny), and their flowers look a bit like small, purple, spiny pineapples.
As we were investigating the other-worldly looking plants, we discovered another other-worldly creature on them - the green lynx spider. How fitting. The spider is equally as prickly in appearance as the plant.
The green lynx spider is non-venomous and doesn't spin a web to catch its prey. It is a hunter. The behavior we have seen is, it lays in wait, usually under a flower, and when a butterfly or bee appears, the spider pounces. Due to its green color and tendancy to be under leaves, it is not always easy to spot.
The photograph above is of a male green lynx spider on a Texas puple sage. The picture below is of the female spider we became fond of looking for on our evening walks. She is on the eryngo and has caught a bee. The difference between the dimensions of the male and female is quite apparent.
In searching for more information about the spider, the following comes from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_lynx_spider
"The green lynx spider is the largest North American lynx spider. The female reaches a body length of .87 inches and the male is more slender and averages .47 inches.
The spider is of interest in use in agricultural pest management, suc as cotton fields. They hunt several moth species and their larvae including some of the most important crop pests, such as bollworm moth, the cotton leafworm moth and the cabbage looper moth."
After seeing the first green lynx spider, they are now much easier for me to notice. The picture below is of one on the underside of a sunflower.
This spider may not be particularly beautiful. I understand that some don't think bugs of any sort are. Oddly, I have become captivated by this spider. Is it because it's a challenge to find? Because of its unusual colors? Because it's spiny and bizzare looking? Yes.
Until next time...
"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."
- Albert Einstein
"It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them."
- Agatha Christie, An Autobiography
Bill and I go to Dad's every week to mow, trim, clean, feed the wildlife, be sure all is well and spend some time. The activity is in many ways similar to the weekly trips I would make to get to see and visit with my papa. Miss him.
On a recent trip as we were driving in, a roadrunner near the road hid (sort of) behind a nearby bush. He kept his eyes on us and the pickup we were in. We stopped. He walked out from behind the bush and took a few steps toward us. He was about 15 feet away. He looked around, changing positions in an animated fashion. He took a few more steps toward us - looking around. A few more steps closer... Eventually, he was only about 6 feet from the truck.
We could only guess that he (or she) may have a nest nearby, so keeping our attention would keep us from looking for the nest. Ultimately, we don't know why this curios bird acted as he did.
It was an entertaining interaction. I had not seen a roadrunner this close, nor for this long before. The colors behind the birds eyes are so brilliant. All very interesting.
"It's so curious: one can resist tears and 'behave' very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer... and everything collapses."
"The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter-'tis the difference between the lightning bug and lightning."
The photograph above was taken at sunset facing north, northwest near Lake Weatherford in north central Texas. These particular storms stayed north of us.
It's the type of photograph that in the past I have spent a good bit of time trying to capture. During those attempts, I'd set the camera up on a tripod, and use a trigger release for looooong exposures (over and over) in hopes of catching the lightning.
This lightning capture session went much differently. Bill came and got me to look at the interesting clouds toward the south - the ones pictured below. They were sort of ominous looking, though beautiful in the glow of the setting sun. Then the storm to the north got our attention, so we watched it for a bit. Upon seeing the lightning, I thought what the heck, it won't hurt to try to capture the lightning. Worse thing that could happen is, I'd miss it. To my pleasant surprise, it worked!
Details for the lightning picture above: Canon 24-105mm lens at 35mm, f/4, 1/15 sec, iso 400, hand-held. About 25 photos were taken in short bursts attempting to capture one with the lightning. The only post-processing of the image was to darken it.
"It's not a question of can or can't. Some things in life, you just do."
-Claire "Lightning" Farron
Details for the cloud photo above: Canon 24-105mm lens at 24mm, f/4, 1/40 sec, iso 400, hand-held. The only post-processing of the image was to lighten it.
"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you."
- A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
"It's not much of a tail, but I'm sort of attached to it."
- A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
It's the only orchid plant I've ever had. Orchids are beautiful and I never felt I would be able to keep one alive, let alone grow one for any length of time. When Dad passed away last summer, our dear friends at Clark Gardens sent me an orchid plant. It had beautiful white flowers and they lasted many weeks before fading and leaving a long green stick behind. It had 6 large leaves when it first arrived.
I read and read and read all I could find on the Internet about orchids, trying to identify the one received since the different types seem to have equally as many different needs for light, water and the like. I repotted it. Half expected that to kill it. But it survived.
Put it near the large bay window that faces north. Turns out that diffuse light is perfect for it. After the flowers faded it grew another huge leaf. I couldn't find anything to tell me if I should prune off the large green stem that no longer had any flowers on it. It was green, so I decided it wouldn't hurt anything to leave it alone. Even though it did look a little pathetic - that very long bare stick coming out of the middle of now 7 big leaves.
Then in very early spring this year... a new stem started to grow out of the original stem! It got longer and developed 6 or 7 buds. Thank goodness I didn't cut off that bare stem! It would be an understatement to say I was excited when the first bud finally opened.
If I have identified it correctly, this orchid is a Phalaenopsis: low light, intermidiate to warm temperature, "Perfect for all beginners." (That's me!) The souce of information that has helped most is: www.beautifulorchids.com
"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
- A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
[This post is dedicated to Roxie, the best Blackmouth Cur pup in the whole world. My companion and friend with a fun sense of humor and the most just and caring soul, and playful heart. rip dear one. You are with me always.]
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Hello and welcome to the blog of Criseyda (Cris) Koonce. It's a simple blog of photos, creations and thoughts.
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