On this date 43

unidentified ant swarm on anthill
In 2009, I worked for an idiot within a park complex, which isn’t exactly germane but it needed to be said anyway, and came across this swarm of ants, and I do mean swarm; they were everywhere for roughly a four-meter-square section, even throughout the air and onto the trees, but I suspected that what you see here was the source, or as close as I could get above ground. Despite the creepiness of it, they were harmless and uninterested in my presence, so I could go in close and find that the smaller reds and the larger flying blacks were probably related, but that’s about all I can provide regarding the species or behavior. Still a damn lotta ants. And yes, I did end up with quite a few on me after leaning in this close, but they brushed away easily – I was mere geography to them.

Four years later I was engaged in pursuits only slightly less creepy (but a lot more useful and productive.)

Niesthrea louisianica on hibiscus seed pods
Down at a lakeside park, I believe with a student, I came across some remarkably colorful bugs – true bugs – chowing down on hibiscus seeds, and did a few photos in situ, then collected at least one for more details shots and identification. They turned out to be Niesthrea louisianica nymphs, no common name, and the following day I got some wonderful closeups. For a given definition of ‘wonderful,’ anyway…

A year later I got away from the arthropods for a spell, lucky you.

unidentified pink and blue wildflowers
The Girlfriend’s Sprog had to be in Greensboro for an MCAT exam, so the three of us decided to make a day of it, and while she was sweating bullets over how to treat Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, The Girlfriend and I checked out a park, where I found these brilliant flowers. I have no idea what they are and haven’t seen them before or since, and my efforts to identify them turned up just one image, a stock photo without any identification whatsoever (which is disturbingly typical,) so that puts this site well ahead of Alamy Stock most of the time. since it’s rare that I don’t identify what you’re seeing.

And finally, in 2016 I was once again at Mason Farm Biological Reserve early in the morning.

trashline orb weaver genus Cyclosa with lambent web lines
The curious light interplay on this web of a trashline orbweaver (genus Cyclosa) caught my eye, since you can see that only certain strands shine so distinctly, while others don’t, and I can only speculate that those are the adhesive strands for entangling prey (not all strands in a web are sticky.) This appeared back then, along with another photo of a banded orbweaver, confirming that I had indeed featured one before this, but somehow the tags for either name didn’t want to appear in the list when I was writing that recent post.

That’s it for this week. Be sure to tune in next week! No ‘because’ in there, since I got nuthin’, but do it anyway.

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