Exactly as scheduled

Since today is Thin Out The Blog Folder Day, I have several images that I was saving just to have something to post for the holiday, because normally, there are no excess images in there – I’m remarkably efficient in my writing, and if I prepare an image for the blog, you know damn well it will be uploaded without delay. So let’s see what I chose, months ago, to save for the holiday.

whitebanded fishing spider Dolomedes albineus on mossy wood
It was back in March when I found this, so you know I plan ahead. It was very small and the detail images that I have aren’t exacting, but it appears this is a juvenile whitebanded fishing spider (Dolomedes albineus,) pretty well camouflaged on a fencepost. I wouldn’t even say that the leg span exceeded 20mm – they get a whole lot larger. Let’s take a closer look at that coloration:

whitebanded fishing spider Dolomedes albineus camouflage pattern
You gotta admit, that’s a pretty good job of looking like moss and lichen, so, go natural selection!

female buff-colored mallard Anas platyrhynchos with five ducklings
In April I did a quick fartsy-ish shot of Buffy the female mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and her brood, down from the nine that hatched – I’m pretty sure that four of these were the ones that followed the beaver and its branch back in that video, but don’t ask me which one abstained.

The next four images are from a trip to the NC Botanical Garden in May – I was planning on returning, but it just hasn’t happened yet (see repeated comments about heat, and that fact that it’s usually Monday when I feel like going and they’re closed Mondays.)

red-bellied watersnake Nerodia erythrogaster suspended in weeds
This smaller-than-average red-bellied watersnake (Nerodia erythrogaster) was chillin’ suspended in the limbs, if you can call them that, of some small plant alongside the water. The access to frogs was trivially easy, so I imagine it’s quite a bit bigger now. The snake, I mean – the plants only eat frogs in winter…

multiple geometric clusters of rhododendron flowers
We’ve seen a closer look at some of these rhododendron flowers back then, but this image shows off the health and symmetry of the flower clusters. I rarely see displays this photogenic, with no dead flowers or notched petals to be found – as long as you’re not looking at the leaves. I said don’t look at the leaves! Geeezzz

prickly pear Opuntia humifusa blossom and pad
This is a little more notable in that the NC Botanical Garden only features plants native to North Carolina, and this is indeed a native cactus: a prickly pear (Opuntia humifusa.) Contrary to appearances, that spiked pad does not slap down and whack birds feeding at the flower. Yet. Give it time – go natural selection!

unidentified hanging seed pods
I have no idea what these are, but they were trying to hide from me under the leaves – they should know better. I picked an angle to give a little more drama to the pic. Whaddya mean, “This isn’t what I think of when I hear ‘drama’ in regards to nature photography”? What does it make you think of?

great blue heron Ardea herodias looking curious
While I was stalking the beavers one evening (we’ve left the botanical garden now,) a great blue heron (Ardea herodias) was watching me suspiciously and, I thought, a little rudely. I’m sorry, those leggings do not go with that thong…

raindrops suspended in needles of bald cypress Taxodium distichum
Same pond, same day, just the other end – a recent rain left some drops suspended in the needles of a bald cypress (Taxodium distichum.) This is High Fart, this is.

And finally,

North American beaver Castor canadensis gnawing on bark chip
I took a few captured frames from video clips to use with the latest beaver post (as well as, naturally, this carefully-planned holiday) and decided on a different image back then, leaving this one for today. I can safely vouch that that is not a harmonica. Yet. Go natural selection!

Okay, that cleans those out, and I can assure you that no stray or older images remain in the blog folder. Professionalism, that is.