This week’s photo challenge was “Grid,” and it took me all week to find this one in the windows of Patterson Hall at North Carolina State University.
The Daily Post’s writing prompt this week was “Monochromatic.” Well, this isn’t perfect — there’s some green in there along with all that yellow, but I figured it was close enough.
This is a Pennsylvania leatherwing beetle, hunting for aphids among goldenrod flowers.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge “Connected,” here’s a footbridge that used to connect the banks of a stream. Well, technically it still does, but you probably wouldn’t want to cross it.
This week’s photo challenge was From Every Angle, and this box turtle obligingly gave me several angles to shoot from.
(Arachnophobia: fear of spiders and scorpions. Hemophobia: fear of blood. Ophidiophobia: fear of snakes.)
In any job dealing with wildlife in the field, you’re eventually going to have to deal with things many people find frightening, disgusting, or just plain creepy. I have caught and been bitten by snakes, walked through countless spiderwebs, and waded around in ponds with a thick layer of scum on the surface.
One of my projects in the summer was to trap, measure, mark, and release snakes. To that end, my co-workers and I set up giant X-shaped silt fence arrangements with a trap in the center and buckets as pitfall traps at each end. The buckets were covered with little plywood tables to provide shade. One day I lifted up one of the plywood tops and found this:
That is a pigmy rattlesnake in the bucket. Next to it is a very large wolf spider. On the underside of the plywood is a black widow spider and the dried-out corpse of a scorpion. An arachnophobe’s nightmare.
This week’s photo challenge was “Beneath Your Feet.”
Pigmy rattlesnakes always look disgruntled, but this one has a really good reason!
It blended in so well, and I was paying so little attention, that I didn’t see it until I was bringing my foot down. I didn’t have time to stop it. I stepped right on it, trying at the last instant not to put too much weight on it.
Next thing I knew, I was standing about six feet away. I think I made an inarticulate squeak as I jumped away.
The snake never tried to strike at me. It just coiled up tighter and glared. I took a quick photo and then I left it alone. Every stick and leaf looked like a snake for the rest of the day.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Close Up,” here’s a little spider hanging from my porch. Hope it eats some of the mosquitoes.