A tribe of rhododendron leafhoppers provide sparks of colour:
|I love the yellow comb legs.|
Notes and photos from wanderings in the Lower Fraser Valley, BC., with a few thrown in from Bella Coola and other BC visits. Favourite spots: Reifel Island, Boundary Bay, Mud Bay, Strathcona, White Rock, Cougar Canyon, etc...
A glittering green fly, freshly emerged from the pupa, rests in the garden while his wings unfold and dry out.
|So very shiny!|
Gardens should be approached on our knees. So we don't miss things like this:
|Flower unfolding from its bud|
|Comes in blue and lilac, with pin-stripes|
A month ago, Tim asked, "I've wondered how a limpet moves from one piece of glass to another with a flattened shell. Or maybe they dont? Post a photo of that if you ever see that happen!"
They do, and I'd seen it often. So I've been watching all month, and never caught even one near a corner. Contrary beasties!
But I did find one making its way over a bumpy snail shell, demonstrating the cornering technique on a gentler angle.
|Limpet on trophon snail|
Last month, I posted the photo of a cocoon that I found on my doormat one morning.
|Wooly bear caterpillar cocoon, found July 6th.|
|Not a moth.|
|Face view. I'm not sure how that extra insect leg got in there.|
|Pretty stained-glass wing.|
|Dried out and warmed up, ready for take-off. Work to do!|
Walking along the Crescent Beach shore at high tide last week, I stopped often to look at the rocks. They've been dumped here to support the railway that runs just above the beach; I don't know where they originated. Not all from the same place, it seems, because they can be anything from soft sandstones to hard granite. They may be grey, black, brown, or white; solid colours or broken up with veins in green or white, spotted or striped, round or sharp-edged. Like live things, there are no two alike.
And I tried, I really tried, to see them as rocks with their own story, without adding layers from my own silly imagination on top. And then I looked at the photos at home, and the trapped rock dwellers showed up. Here are two of them. (Laurie saw them, too, without me pointing them out. So they must be real, right?)
|Conglomerate, with woman wearing lipstick. (That's the real colour of the rock; I didn't add it.)|
|Textured sandstone, with long-nosed critter just leaving his bed.|
It's confirmed; this year, our host for the International Rock Flipping Day (#rockflip) will be Heather Mingo, on her blog, At the Edge of the Ordinary.
Heather is another of my favourite BC bloggers. She describes herself as,
... a writer, blogger, and amateur naturalist living in a small town in the Canadian province of British Columbia (one of the most beautiful places in the world) with 3 cats, 700+ books, and 40+ house plants. ... a geek about plants, fungi, insects, ecosystems, and all that, and I even have a degree in natural resource science to prove it.... and her blog:
The edge of the ordinary is a place where you can remember your interdependence with the rest of nature, rediscover your inherent creativity, and simply be. The edge of the ordinary is not in the wilderness or far from home. It is here, all around you: in the sky, in the air, in the vacant lots, in the cracks in the sidewalk, in the small details that most people ignore. At the edge of the ordinary you will discover a world of depth and meaning and everyday wonder. A world peopled by plants and animals and fungi and slime moulds and mountains and rivers and stars and atoms and galaxies. A world in which to be human is to be both very small and also very large.
|Facing what little sun shows up in the afternoon|
|This basket doesn't even get that. A few stray rays, maybe, some mornings.|
I thought I was taking photos of pretty rocks.
|I didn't even notice the crab and limpet until I got home.|
September 14th, the second Sunday in September, is International Rock Flipping Day.*
... we pick a day for everybody to go outside — go as far as you have to — and flip over a rock (or two, or three). We could bring our cameras and take photos, film, sketch, paint, or write descriptions of whatever we find. It could be fun for the whole family!
On 9/2/2007, people flipped rocks on four continents on sites ranging from mountaintops to urban centers to the floors of shallow seas. Rock-flippers found frogs, snakes, and invertebrates of every description, as well as fossils and other cool stuff.
One thing I forgot to do in the initial post is to caution people about flipping rocks in poisonous snake or scorpion habitat. In that case, I’d suggest wearing gloves and/or using a pry bar — or simply finding somewhere else to do your flipping. Please do not disturb any known rattlesnake shelters if you don’t plan on replacing the rocks exactly as you found them. Timber rattlesnakes, like many other adult herps, are very site-loyal, and can die if their homes are destroyed. Also, don’t play with spiders. If you disturb an adjacent hornet nest (hey, it’s possible), run like hell. But be sure to have someone standing by to get it all on film!
The animals we find under rocks are at home; they rest there, sleep there, raise their families there. Then we come along and take off the roof, so please remember to replace it carefully. Try not to squish the residents; move them aside if they're big enough; they'll run back as soon as their rock is back in place.
|Rocks, Crescent Beach. Much too big to flip.|
|Detail of layered sandstone.|
Cake decoration ripples:
|Small trophon snail, on barnacles. About 1 cm. long.|
|Anemone and bubble. Also about 1 cm. tall.|
|Scale worm on rock.|
These critters all dropped in to visit this week.
|Hornet under glass|
|Hundreds of eyes, and toothed jaws.|
|Crane fly on carpet. Sleeping with his eyes open.|
|1/3 of the crane fly. I cropped out miles of leg.|
|Shot in the dark. Fly on outside of window, 10:00 PM.|
|Mosquito, with double reflection from glass door.|
|June bug. He came to help with the watering.|
|Such nice fuzzy pedipalps!|
|Eyes in the back of his head. Very useful.|
|Sitting up to beg like a puppy. Sorry, I had no spider treats for him.|
I give up. I can't identify this plant. Can you?
|About the size of a pickling cuke.|
|Two of three on one stalk.|
Outside the warming room near the entrance to Reifel Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary, a pair of barn swallows is raising their brood. Two weeks ago, the chicks were feathering out, and - so they claimed - half-starved.
|Laser-bright mouth, "Put food here!" it says. But Ma and Pa Swallow are taking a short break.|
|Two chicks, two parents.|
|Chin feathers like one of those rubberized hairbrushes.|
The sad story of Fang, Part II
Recap: I found Fang in the kitchen, took his photo, and sent him to play outside.
|Why I named him Fang. He's about 3 inches across, toe to toe.|
|Cross spider in her web. 10 PM; these ones work night and day.|
|He's still threatening her with those big fangs.|
|Biting his knee. He's settling down, now.|
|He has extruded what I presume is a blob of silk from the spinnerets, in his death throes.|
|She's used a lot of silk, tying up those long legs. She'll eat it again, when she cuts him loose. Spiders recycle!|
He walked across my kitchen counter, and I trapped him in a glass.
|The ruler under the glass measures centimetres. Fangs to spinnerets, he's about 3/4 inch long.|
|Face view. Mostly fat, pointy fangs.|