Boy, not gonna set any blog records for January, that’s for damn sure. There just hasn’t been anything to photograph, and not enough time or motivation to tackle a couple of the other topics that I have sitting in my blog folder for, you know, when I have the time and motivation.
But it peaked close to 20° today, and that was enough to spark a little nighttime activity. Earlier I’d seen two of the green frogs that live in the backyard pond out and about, as well as four or five deer napping off the back edge of the property, but I didn’t have the camera in hand then. Learning from this, later on I did have it in hand when I spotted this little lady by the reflection of her eyes in the headlamp beam. Spiders are remarkably cold-hardy, and while they won’t be active anywhere near freezing temperatures (or at least I’ve found none like that around here,) the moment it gets up above 10 or 12° they can often be spotted. The treefrogs and anoles are firmly settled in until spring, but the spiders only need the barest chance of finding food and they’ll be out and about. I only got the one frame of this wolf spider (genus Lycosidae) with the flash misadjusted, making it a little too dark, and as I was readjusting that she got suspicious and vanished under the leaves – this was lightened in post.
I’ve found very few wolf spiders this past year or so, and I don’t know whether this is simply a random variation in populations, which I’ve seen plenty of evidence of with several species, or if the foraging frogs have been limiting their numbers – she wasn’t far from the pond and thus fair game, but again, the frogs weren’t in sight when she was, otherwise you’d have seen at least another frame of them. Some evening – probably not in the winter – I’ll have to set up in the backyard with an AC lamp and just watch to see what kind of ongoing activity there is, maybe snag some video of hunting behavior from any one of the species therein. Remind me when it’s warmer. Dependably warmer.