Sunday, May 3, 2009

Flowers and spiders

Here's an interesting view Avremi captured of some of the snapdragon Antirrhynum majus flowers growing by the gazelle field east watercourse. Background is totally dark because the camera used flash, time being about sunset.

We hoped to catch a view of the fox family again as they had been seen from the east watercourse twice before but today was a no show.. real pity because I wanted the boys to see the cubs. Now at least they know where to look.

Moshe told us he did see a white stork this morning from the garden, flying over the valley.

Chukar partridges heard as well as turtle doves (forgot to mention saw turtle dove come down to cistern to drink yesterday) . Flock of hooded crows over middle of east valley not long after sunset, where it seems they have a roost. Flew up, made a noise.. not sure if it was we who spooked them or something else. Great tit fledgelings heard calling again by sapling field. Greenfinches, collared doves, Eurasian jays numerous common swifts, bee-eaters, all vocal and active, latter in the air over the trees of course.

House sparrows and white spectacled bulbuls vocal and active in the garden, sunbirds and feral pigeons also about.

Dense yellow composite, each floret looking like a tiny yellow daisy. Aroma quite powerful, reminded me of rotting oranges- growing in many places in the open. Akiva

This seems to match Marrubium . M. vulgare most likely though it looks more like photoes M. libanoticum though that's not supposed to be out till June and grows much farther north. Not happy about this I.D. yet, though clearly one of the Lamiaceae (mint family) . Forgot to check fragrance! This one growing on top of banks of east valley watercourse. Avremi

Elli Sacks helped me out again with the mystery yellow flower in the last post. Do check it out if you're interested as I added a note there re I.D.

Following two photos I find quite fascinating. It was found by Moshe on its web on the banks of the east valley watercourse and photographed by Avremi. It's a tiny orb web spider about half a centimetre across and looks pretty much like a random seed caught on its web when its legs are tucked in. From the striped legs, shape and detailed patterning it may be one of the Argiope genus, or related. It seems to have a horn on its back and I don't make total sense of what I'm seeing underneath.. what's the black and white body, another spider embracing it? The male? There's clearly a lot of complexity going on there I do not understand. Top pic: underside, lower pic: as seen from above.

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