Thursday, September 29, 2011
Sometimes I enjoy Fall as an entity in itself, but most of the time I think of Fall as "getting ready for winter." That feeling can alternate between a sense of foreboding and one of excitement, depending on day to day events. I love photographing bees and bee-like flies, but if I get stung, the mood changes.
This post is headed by two photos of an oak tree in front of Papa's Donuts in East Quincy. I show off this tree - actually two trees - every fall because it displays more spectacular fall color than any other oak tree I've seen. As of yesterday, it sported two small clusters of flame-red leaves while most of the trees remain green. The next photo down is of a bee-fly on Chicory, the latter being a roadside wildflower that persists until the first snow or afterwards. The wolf spider in the next photo was seen in my friend's studio where it is undoubtedly making winter preparations. Next is a close-up of the type of Mistletoe that grows on conifers, this one seen on the trunk of a huge Ponderosa Pine. The Ambush bug, one of my favorite photo subjects, seems to rest on composites most of the time. All the ones I've seen this summer and fall have been on daisies, as shown here, and tansy as featured several times in recent posts. This head-on view shows the powerful-looking front pair of legs. Would be a great model for sci-fi thrillers. Last is a praying mantis egg case spotted on a window frame at the Co-op. I check daily, hoping to catch the emergence of hundreds of babies. They are "born" as miniature adults. Mantises 1/4" long a very cute. Oops! A friend and fellow naturalist just reminded me they don't hatch until spring. I'd have a long, cold wait. I just hope no window-cleaning person dispatches them.
I titled this post "Winter Readiness" because I'm reminiscing on an issue of the Green Mountain Gazette than ran 30 years ago and which we called our "winter readiness issue." The cover photo was one I took of my son Dave splitting firewood. I'm still in the middle of splitting firewood this fall and many of my photos are the result of my discovering interesting bug larvae in the logs, then getting distracted and wandering around the neighborhood with my camera. I hope you enjoy the results.