I went to a local lake to see how it is, and to check out the local wildlife. The first thing I found out was that the fishing was fine, if you liked mercury. It is the #1 worst mercury polluted lake in the world. Oh, yay! For quite a while the only buggies I found was a small, unidentified true bug that wanted to sample the local Lil. It got flicked for it's efforts. A little further down the path I found some pretty non-native snails in the thistles. What wouldn't I do to get a decent close-up? Apparently traipsing through yellow thistles and tumbles weeds wasn't on that list, so traipsing I did, getting prickled all the way. Sadly, all the snails I found were dead. I should go back to Baylands, I know of places where the snails group up by the ton. Literally. After I snapped this pictures I pocketed this shell. For non-natives, they sure are pretty.
Next I found a nearly mature grasshopper, a prettily marked tan one. It jumped into the yellow thistles (ugh, agaiiiin?), and even obligingly turned around to face the camera when I gently pulled the stem back to get better access. Unfortunately, my hand blitzed and let go of the stem, catapulting the grasshopper into the next county. Oh, bugger.
After that, the bug pickings were pretty slim again until I happened on a very spidery stand of cat tails. There were three or four different species, all I haven't seen before. I'll ID them later, when I feel like it. This is also when the camera started seriously malfunctioning, and would not go into proper macro mode. I'd set it to macro, and it would flat out refuse to focus close up, choosing to focus on the background way out in the distance every time. I was getting pretty frustrated, and chose to familiarize myself with the (rather clunky) manual focus mode. I need more practice, but would rather go get the stupid thing fix.
These two were on the same leaf. Femme fatale and her unwitting male prey? Only time will tell, and I wasn't sticking around to see.
More spidery goodness, in no particular order.
This one had some dinner hanging in the pantry.
This is the only picture I have of this guy. I *NEED* to get that camera serviced.
A really cleverly disguised molting tent.
ID compliments of Mach: red gum lerp psyllids.
Burrow. Tarantula, maybe? I sure wasn't about to dig it up to find out.
Is it Halloween time yet? Very nice, for being offhand, manually focused shots. The web ones were above my head, arm's length out. I went through dozens of waste shots to get these few. I love digital!
Not pictured: When I got in the truck to go home, after I pulled the sun shade from the window to roll it up I noticed something large, yellow and fuzzy trundling up my shirt, inches away from my chin. Eeeek! It was a rather disoriented looking yellow jacket. I suppose she got trapped in the truck after blundering in through a cracked window, and got stuck between the sun shade and the windshield. I was getting rather agitated, not looking forward to imminent envenomation, and opened the door, preparing to make a break for it and flick the vespid off my shirt, or take the shirt off..... As soon as the door opened, however, she took the initiative and buzzed off on her own, and disappeared. Dignity relatively unscathed, I straightened my shirt, closed the door, and drove off.