Just a drop, please?

ThirstyMantis
One of those things I had to share. Out early the other morning after an overnight rain, I was examining the azalea bush for interesting stuff, mostly looking for a way to use the rising sun and the raindrops creatively. One of the little mantises was too deep among the leaves to catch the sun, but as I watched, it engaged in a behavior I’ve never seen: it was drinking rain directly off the leaf. Regretfully, there wasn’t a good way to get proper lighting onto the action, so there’s only this chiaroscuro version which doesn’t even show the water adequately. Thus, a better illustration joins my list of images to capture someday.

While doing this I made another discovery, harkening back to years past (in this case, just barely): one of the green lynx spider hatchlings (Peucetia viridans) that I followed in the fall has taken up residence on the same bush, now displaying the adult coloration but still minuscule. You might be able to determine scale by comparing the leaves in the two shots…
MiniLynx
AzaleaLeaf… or simply from this image of a typically-sized leaf on my fingertips. They look much better when not seen quite so close, don’t they?

I have a feeling the spider’s days are short, given the number and predatory skills of the mantises on the same bush, and it may already be gone as I type this. But lynx spiders are none too clumsy either, so we’ll just have to see if it reappears. Not long after I got the initial image above, a mantis was found in almost the exact same area (it seems odd to talk about “areas” of a bush only a meter across, but that’s macro perspective for you.) I was wondering if the spider had already lost a match, but later the same day found it a short while away, consuming a leafhopper, so I’m not going to speculate too much.

Now, hard as it may be to believe (to the imaginary people who follow this blog regularly,) I actually got out this weekend and obtained some non-creepy images – in fact, quite pleasant ones. I know, right? The Girlfriend’s Younger Sprog is about to graduate from college, soon to enter med school, and we were out doing graduation portraits on campus. I would love to thrash the scoffers by displaying some of these images, but I’m fairly certain I would be dismembered by the almost-graduate therein, and since I’m three times her mass, this provides an idea of how poorly such an action would be received. We’ve all heard the stories of the mother who dropped a car onto a photographer that published photos of her without permission…

Now, even more unbelievable: the areas we chose to do the portraits within were absolutely crawling with a huge variety of insects, including at least one species I’d never seen before. And I didn’t take a single frame of them. I did have to go for a lie-down afterward, though…

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