Saturday, September 29, 2007

Eastern Pondhawk

This morning I saw a beautiful female Eastern Pondhawk lifting off from our driveway rather unsteadily due to an overly large piece of prey that it was grasping in its mouth parts. A few seconds later this graceful insect gingerly alighted on the backyard banana tree, where it began to more earnestly chew and digest its hapless victim. Camera in hand I recorded the gripping mealtime drama for you my gentle readers in cyberspace.

It appears that it was scarfing down a male member of its own species.

Just another typical day in the bug eat bug world of the Florida jungle.

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)

Click on the image for a much more detailed view.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Birds of my neighborhood

The weather has been breezy and a bit cooler the past few days so I've been taking longer walks after dinner with my camera to see what kinds of animals I could capture in the viewfinder for you my dear readers out there in cyberspace.

Here in the swamps and lakes of central Florida the bird life is what has struck this newcomer the most. It looks and feels like I live in an exotic jungle paradise. Well maybe I do.

Wood stork

Florida wild turkey or also known as the Osceola

Woods that surround the ponds

This gator was watching me take pictures.

White ibis

Another day is done in the Florida outback.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Golden orb weaver

This morning my wife beckoned me to come out on the back porch to welcome a newly arrived guest at our Florida jungle outpost. During the overnight hours a beautiful Golden orb weaver (Argiope aurantia) had spun a most delicately graceful web above the barbecue prep table.

According to my trusty copy of The Golden Guide to Spiders: "Argiopes are large, conspicuous spiders that hang head down in the center of the web. The web usually has crossed zigzag bands, and the young spiders may construct more zigzags than the adults. Some species are easily recognized by their color and pattern. Species of Argiope are found in tropical and temperate regions."

Now to find something to feed this hungry girl.......