I actually got a few photos in today – nothing exciting, nothing even noteworthy, except that I wasn’t even trying; today was yard work and gardening day, and I was mostly planting things. But as a nature and wildlife blog, this post isn’t going to the Favorites page, mine or anyone else’s, and the best I can say for it is that it isn’t food related, or about the trials and tribulations of raising kids. So there.
As I was working outside of the front window, which was open to let in a bit of fresh air, The Boogs gathered to see what was going on – all of them.
This is remarkable in itself, because there’s been a certain tension in the place since the introduction of Taz/Monster in 2019. She’s a bit too hyper and playful for the other two, and while Kaylee can cope with this about half of the time, Little Girl is not at all happy with it and usually wants no proximity to the youngest in the slightest. But I guess the draw of the great outdoors was too great – that, and wondering what I was swearing about out there.
(This wasn’t anything special, because I’m always swearing, but it was coming from outside the window this time, so it bore investigation. So you know, left to right, this is Monster, Kaylee, and Little Girl. You can see them as kittens here and here – the very first photo at that latter link are Kaylee and Little Girl, though none of us knew that yet.)
While Monster will chase Little Girl short distances when the former is feeling impish and the latter non-confrontational, at other times Little Girl will take no shit at all and will slap the hell out of Monster (which Monster will cower away from, then try to affect an air of disinterest.) Recently, however, it appears Little Girl is starting to get a bit more of the spirit of things, because she’ll actively chase Monster around the house, which I suspect they both secretly enjoy. Yet today, as I stood outside the house with the camera raised, they did something far more affectionate than normal:
That – is not at all typical, and surprisingly both of them were agreeable, at least for a moment, and neither got feisty about it, being as mellow as old friends. There’s something about spring, I guess…
By the way, I feel I should mention, a significant portion of my desktop is taken over by two cat beds, because it was necessary, and as I type this, both protagonists are occupying their respective spots – there’s a safe distance (and myself) between them.
Okay, enough of that, let’s get to some appropriate content. As The Girlfriend was raking out part of the back yard and bent to remove a detested longneedle pine sapling, she unearthed one of our residents.
While I normally consider the first appearance of the treefrogs, either the Copes grey or the green (Hyla cinerea) seen here, as the first true harbinger of spring, I’m not counting this one because it hadn’t emerged on its own, though I suspect that point is not far off now. It still gets pretty chilly at night, so they’re not ready yet, but within a couple of weeks, I’m guessing. I didn’t have the macro flash handy so these are strictly ambient light, which was light overcast skies, and when I leaned in with the 80mm macro lens, I had to shoot wide open to keep the shutter speed manageable.
While I tried to gently rebury our friend here in a safe potted plant, it was having none of that, so after the photos I simply let it be to establish a new hiding spot on its own.
Later on as I was planting things out front, I felt something walking across my hand and looked down to find a small, unfamiliar bright green spider. Now, I vowed that I wasn’t going to photograph the daffodils this year, because even though they’re usually the first decent subjects of spring, I’ve photographed them every year, and so does everyone else, so the awareness of trite kept me from doing the same this year. But as I transferred the spider to the nearest prominent plant, which happened to be a daffodil, it immediately took up a protective camouflage position against a petal edge, and thus when I eventually fetched the camera again, I ended up going against my vow. This is why I’ll never be a priest (well, among a few thousand reasons.)
I suspect you get an inkling of the size from this, especially since I told you what it was posed on, but overall length stretched out like this didn’t exceed 20mm. I had indeed gotten the flash for this one, finding as I did so that it had somehow been left switched on and the batteries were quite dead, so once again, wide open in ambient light, far from the best approach. I was still in the middle of several yard tasks so I wasn’t devoting a full session to this, but this was perhaps enough to identify it anyway; near as I can tell, this is a specific long-jawed orbweaver with no common name, but Tetragnatha viridis. I couldn’t see the long jaws, but the eye pattern was right and some of the example photos at that link look damn close, so this is a tentative ID for now.
So yeah, the camera still works, and I’m still capable of posting current content. Woo hoo.