This pair of Hawaiian garden spiders spent a long time facing off from different sides of the female spider’s web. The male is the smaller, drab spider, while the larger female has splashes of yellow, orange bands on her legs, and a bejeweled back, which can be seen here. The female spiders are much bigger than the males, though this female is not actually a particularly large one. Full-sized females dwarf their male counterparts.
I don’t know how this encounter turned out, but the previous day I did see another male on this web and it did not turn out well for him. I didn’t get good photos, but he appeared to be thoroughly enveloped in her ‘loving’ embrace.
When male garden spiders approach a female, they pluck the females web in a certain way to alert her to their presence. Typically, successful male garden spiders mate with a female and then die immediately afterwards. Sometimes the female will eat their male suitors. I’ve read than canny males will try to mate while the female is undergoing her final molt because during this process she will be immobile!
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Macro or Close-up Photography.’ (See more responses here.) In response, here’s a close-up photo of a monarch butterfly feeding on a tasselflower.
A view into the old blockhouse on the slopes of Pu’u Wa’awa’a. Stripped of doors and windows, it now serves as a shelter for livestock.
Lantana is such a colorful flower – pink and purple, yellow and orange (and invasive here, but let’s not talk about that). Curiously, it doesn’t seem all that popular with bugs, at least by my observations. But at certain times I see butterflies very interested and on this occasion, several bees were going from bloom to bloom.
Posted in response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge on the theme of ‘Macro-Photography of Anything.’ See more responses here.
The wandering glider (Pantala flavescens) is a fairly common dragonfly with a worldwide distribution, but it’s not one I’ve previously photographed. This isn’t for lack of trying.
I like dragonflies, so I’m always lured in when I see them flitting around. I figure that, even though they’re in motion, I should be able to get a photo because they often fly back and forth over small areas looking for food. So I’ve taken hundreds of dragonfly photos, many of which have a bit of dragonfly in them, some of them a whole dragonfly, a few where the dragonfly is fuzzy but identifiable, one or two that look pretty good.
This was another of those days. There were three or four dragonflies in the area and I was shooting photos with my usual success rate when I saw one of them settle. This one was clearly not familiar with dragonfly rules of conduct, which state: 1. Remain in constant motion if photographers are present. 2. If you must rest, make sure you aren’t observed.
Cashing in on my luck, I got several photos before the dragonfly flew off. I took a few more futile flying shots and was about to leave, when the same dragonfly landed again in almost the same spot. I particularly like the single yellow-brown cell in each of the wings, which is a handy identifier.
This is the last edition of the WordPress photo challenge with a theme of ‘All time favorites.’ Since I don’t want to rerun photos I’ve used previously, I’ve decided to interpret this challenge as favorites among photos I haven’t yet used. I’m also throwing in a touch of favorite subject matters or, basically, whatever strikes my fancy.
First up is a favorite subject – bees. These photos were taken in the front yard when I noticed a lot of activity around the many patches of clover there. One aspect of a decent photo is being in the right place at the right time. That was very true in this case. The bees were urgently buzzing from flower to flower collecting. I was, just as urgently, down on my knees taking photos. And all the time, the sound of the lawn mower got louder and louder …
I like getting out and about and, when I do, I’m constantly on the lookout for everything from insects to whales. When I go for a walk, I usually say something along the lines of, ‘I’ll be back in an hour, unless I see a bug or a butterfly.’
This was one of those days. Turtles in the bay, a giant African land snail oozing across a dirt road, and this monarch butterfly doing the rounds of the tasselflowers. A good walk indeed.
Posted in response to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge ‘Place in the world.’
A passion vine butterfly drinks sweet nectar from a tasselflower. I think it’s a Florida tasselflower (Emilia fosbergii), which is also known as Flora’s paintbrush.