Green Lynx Spider and Alphabetland

Green Spider on Tithonia photographed by Jeff Zablow at 303 Garden, GA

Never saw such in Pittsburgh. Not in Long Island or Brooklyn. The first one I saw here in Georgia was in my own natives garden. I’ve seen many of those little crab spiders hiding in blooms when out on my butterfly searches, but never had I seen this larger spider.

This Green Lynx Spider so reminds me of growing up, hard and on the streets of Brooklyn. You had to know where you were all the time, and be aware, always aware. I remember when I began seeking little multifamily properties in NYNY. Savvy people, back in the very late 1970’s and early ’80’s urged me to have a good, long look at the East Village in NYNY. Back then it was rough, very rough, with the hint of violence very, very near. Those same people also carefully warned, “Don’t cross Avenue A!” Why? Because beyond that side of ‘A,’ you had better be prepared for . . . anything. I heeded their advice, but did get involved, of course, on the more pacified side of ‘A.’ Today? Alphabetland, as they now call it, became a “HOT” address, and condos there go for $1,000,000 or more. Did I ever see the dark side of that area? Yes, 2 or 3 times, but ‘though in suit and tie, I did enjoy some level of comfort, with long steel in my pants pocket. Realities.

For butterflies, there are uncountable perils, beyond getting whomped on your car’s front grille or your windshield. Blue Jays, Mockingbirds, darners, lizards, snakes, beetles at night and . . . this strikingly beautiful Green Lynx spider, patiently waiting for a butterfly or bee, its attractive green color giving it extra invisibility.

I had one of these lay her eggs in my Mountain Mint, and not long after had a nest of perhaps 50 Green lynx spiderlets (?). I let it be, this is H-s plan.

Jeff

What’s in a Name?

Giant Spider photographed by Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA

I’m working the cut-grass trail that abuts Woody Pond. That’s one of about 5 or 6 ponds in Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, just a short distance from the Georgia coast. Magic. Why magic? Magical because every step I took along that trail produced. Laura was correct, this is a serious destination.

Butterflies abounded that late August 2018 week: Palamedes, Cloudless Sulphurs, Gulf Fritillaries, that gorgeous Viceroy, Monarchs, Saltmarsh Skippers, Pipevines, Zebra Heliconians, and such. Bees, flies, wasps, moths and more. The botany was lush and much in bloom: Liatris, native sunflowers, thistles, frogfruit, sumac in bloom and more. Alligators in large numbers, they scaring the bejeebers out of my (me, a grad of Brooklyn’s streets back when) that morning when I was on this very same trail, early, and without warning, what sounded like a 20 foot gator bellowed, nearly at feet . . . and just as suddenly some 7 or 8 male behemoths joined in. I’m thinking how I’ll save myself if they come after me, the cold steel I carry no match for such. G-d was along with me, for I never had to . . .

The birds are the #1 reasons that Refuge is a National Refuge, for birders were there those 4 mornings, this being one of the best Wood Stork Refuges in the USA. Hundreds of wood storks in those rookeries!

On Woody Pond’s trail, I leaned in to get a better look at a Lep, and Holy Spaghetti! I found myself staring right at this. What you see here is almost life-size. Her web strands were yellowish, her abdomen a soothing brownish/oprange, with those comely yellowish spots. Six of her 8 legs had tufts on them. I waited to see if she would resent my Macro- Len’s close approach? I felt like when I was at those Boys’ Club boxing sessions, seeking to learn my opponent’s moves and fakes.

She had a tiny male resting on her abdomen. Tell me about this stark difference in size? I did some reading when I Googled this spider, and I learned. I never knew that there are others species of tiny spiders that earn their sustenance by living close to Big webs like this one, and dash out to grab scraps that the resident spiders overlooks.

This native spider’s name? The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver. Common in the southeastern USA. She and her tiny buddy never reacted to my several approaches. A good, though formidable looking model, she.

Jeff

8 Years And No ID On This Moth

Moth photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

What you remember amidst all that you forget. It’s been 8 years since this moth flew toward where I was standing, on the peak of Mt. Hermon. The south face of Hermon is war ravaged Syria, just to add some spicy irony to this setting.

It’s not a butterfly, yes, but the peak of this mountain supports many very rare butterflies, and I thought, Hey! this might be a very rare moth! So I shot away, that June 2008. You see my image of this beautiful creature.

wingedbeauty.com posted this photo, asking for ID from our moth experts.

Nothing.

Of course I try one more time. Anyone able to ID this Middle Eastern moth? found on top of Mt. Hermon?

Jeff

Why do we marvel at Praying Mantis’ Egg Masses?

Coming Soon, Real Soon . . . .

Winged Beauty Butterflies

Mantid egg case photographed by Jeff Zablow
Who can resist? June 2014, and there in Doak field, in the field, we discover . . . a Praying Mantis (Mantis Religiosa) egg mass. Butterflies are why we’re out there, but, who can resist stopping for a moment to examine this wonder of wonders?

What is inside? Eggs. What is the outside material? A substance produced by the female, that hardens, and . . . and serves many roles, one of them is it repels birds. It discourages birds from eating the eggs within. Impressive.

When it is 0 degrees F in that field in January 2015, those eggs remain viable. Suspended on this twig, the entire egg mass never comes in contact with the snow that covers the field, again and again throughout the winter.

Spring arrives, and the eggs hatch. The tiny mantids chew their way through the outer covering of the egg mass, and grow…

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A Darner in The Briar Patch (Habitat I)

Darner dragonfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat I, Eatonton, GA

I can’t be the only one. I’m sure others do too. Working through the Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat in July 2017, I saw this handsome Darner (Dragonfly?). Yes? No? It was too fine to pass up, so I made my approach (I shoot Macro- . It did not flee. I came in, within 18″ and shot away.

I was born during WWII and I still remember the Current Events reports my classmates had to give in PS244. Many students chose the really unpleasant reporting of America losses in battle that week in Korea. Then with Viet Nam I was an Artillery Officer, but our NYARNG unit was not sent over. With the contemporary war in Iraq and Afghanistan; the ever present concern that Israel will be engaged by its neighbors; the immediate carnage in Syria and now the of-concern-to-me build-up of PRChina’s military machine . . . all this and more has nurtured a lifelong begrudging respect for airplanes, jet fighters and now missiles.

When I watched Darners do their daredevil flying in those empty lots in Brooklyn, I became a forever fan of these amazing creatures.

When this slide came back from Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas I was pleased with the delicate capture of wings, the fair sharing of the head, abdomen as well as the nice muting of the background in soft color.

I thought this look served Darners well. They do what they do (capture their prey in mid-flight, at dizzying speed). As with our USAF fighter jets, they fly above and serve. Never, never have they harassed or assaulted me, even after thousands of hours in the field, darners everywhere.

Jeff