She was on her web, trailside along the Woody Pond trail at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge in coastal Georgia. She was big, and you couldn’t easily miss seeing her, the web some 2-3 feet off the ground.
Of course I stopped, and I was determined to collect some good images of her, and the males who too were on her web, but seemed to keep a good, safe distance from her.
This species of Argiope spider certainly is colorful, is finely constructed and engineered, and some would say has existed in this wetland habitat for thousands of years.
Me? I look at her, she probably a comely looker for her species, and I go back to basics, i.e., Why did G-d make her and her spider species?
I have some wonderful memories of Mourning Cloak butterflies. I have one very sad, hugely poignant memory of a Mourning Cloak just weeks after Frieda A”H (OBM”) passed.
I have a wrenching recollection of that incredibly beautiful Mourning Cloak, that I came upon as it was warming, resting on a broad leaf in the morning sun. That one remained in place, as I so, so slowly made my approach. Just when I was down, and slowly raised my Macro- lens, that one fled. It would have been a fantastic image.
Another lip biting time, again in Raccoon Creek State Park, I watched as a fine, fine Mourning Cloak flew out from the trailside foliage, and landed on the Nichol Road trail. I spent minutes approaching and reproaching it, each time it fled upon my getting within 8 feet of it. It flew to a part of the trailside that had a vertical-90 degree side to it. Picture that. It was now resting on the vertical little wall, fully facing the center of the trail, its handsome/beautiful dorsal features in good light and in full view. I approached, it did not flee. I approached again, I so wanted this to yield a ‘best ever’ shot. It . . . fled. Arrrrgh!!
TheMourning Cloak Butterfly shown here did not flee. We were in Raccoon Creek State Park, where it chose to warm itself on broken rock, in the early morning sun. Its complete yellow wing margins, blue trailing wing spots, yellow chevrons and diminutive ‘tails’ all please me.
Now in Georgia’s Piedmont (central Georgia), I want, want to find a southern Mourning Cloak, an extraordinary one, and share its yumminess with you. Deal?