Sep 162014
 

Here are a few almost surreal images from a brief foggy morning walk down Piney Woods Church Road, before a frenzied day got underway.

 

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Sep 152014
 

It as a gray and somber evening after a long day,  much of it involving a home water leak and its aftermath.  The sky was dark but somehow could not manage more than a few anemic drops of water falling onto the powdery sand and gravel of Piney Woods Church Road.  I found a cute little jumping spider, but all my efforts at photographs yielded nothing in sharp focus.  An afterthought photo of some yellow-brown leaves lying on the road bed will have to do.

 

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Sep 142014
 

On my walk today, I stopped to visit Piney Woods Church Road neighbors.  They had a butterfly bush blooming beside a pool, visited by a bumblebee.  In their front garden, an Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola) was calmly sipping nectar from a Lantana still in blossom.

 

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Sep 142014
 

On my Piney Woods Church Road walk early this afternoon, I encountered a large ant, perhaps half an inch in length, on a blossom of American burnweed (Erechtites hieracifolia).  So far this year, I have mostly avoided ants on my daily encounters, partly because most of the ones I see are tiny and very difficult to photograph, and partly because the word “ants’ here in Georgia tends to trigger images of fire ants and their vicious bites.  This ant was quite placid, allowing me to take quite a few photographs.  Its black head and amber body are distinctive enough that I was even able to make a tentative identification:  Camponotus americanus, a species of Carpenter Ant native to the Southeast.

 

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Sep 132014
 

Three images as sunset approaches, taken among the grasses along the edge of Piney Woods Church Road.  When I cease to encounter the unusual on my walk, I simply turn my attention back to the familiar and I find new wonders there.

 

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Sep 122014
 

On today’s walk I met up with the Leaf-footed Bug again — quite likely, the same curious specimen I saw a couple of days previous.  I am not sure why I find this creature so endearing — perhaps because, despite its somewhat intimidating size (for a bug, that is), it is a harmless vegetarian like myself.  Still, its vignette does convey a slight bit of dread.  The Muscadine leaf in the photo, though, is in much more danger than the photographer.

 

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Sep 122014
 

Awaiting rain on another hot and dry late afternoon (rain that avoided us completely, falling heavily on Atlanta’s downtown instead), I wandered down Piney Woods Church Road in search of new discoveries.  Today, I encountered an unfamiliar yellow and black spider, about a centimeter across, with two spiny projections on the end of her abdomen.  I intently watched her spinning a web for several minutes.  Later, consulting my Spiders of the Carolinas text, I discovered that she was an Arrowshaped Micrathena (Micrathena sagittata), a striking orbweaver that is relatively uncommon in North and South Carolina (though I am not certain about Georgia).

 

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Sep 112014
 

On my walk this afternoon, I saw a long-legged fly gathering nectar from just-opening blossoms of American Burnweed.  Its body was an iridescent green and gold — a piece of flying jewelry.

 

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Sep 102014
 

Back on June 29th (Day 210), I photographed the nymphal form of the Leaf-footed Bug (Acanthocephala terminalis).  Today, I am delighted to announce, I encountered the same insect, only this time in its adult form, perched motionless on a leaf of American Dogwood (Cornus florida).  Despite its imposing size and form, the Leaf-footed bug is a placid herbivore, content to sip vegetable juices.

 

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