Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Berry Creek Oasis

Great hike to Berry Creek today. I call it an oasis because the place where the creek emerges from a rectangular culvert beneath the railroad track has a little pond and is surrounded by lush vegetation. The pond contains several trout and the vegetation includes a healthy stand of Leopard Lilies and lots of St. John's Wort. The latter is featured in the top two photos showing a Goldenrod Crab Spider finishing off a Bumblebee meal. As often happens, while walking along we first notice the prey. The spider is usually camouflaged. As we approach slowly for a photo of a bee, fly, or butterfly, we wonder why it doesn't take off. Then we notice it is paralyzed and being drained of its fluids by the spider. Often we see a small pile of bug carcasses on the ground beneath the feeding spot. Quite an interesting show every time.

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