Monday, May 18, 2009

445 Heat and Amazing crawling things

Small white crab spider found on the snapdragon today, almost dusk. He's not very camouflaged, his only purpleness is in the form of thin markings on his abdomen.

This spider above was far more camouflaged. I first found it on a bright yellow centaury, but then it dropped down and played hide and seek around the stem, trying to stay on the other side of the stem from myself and camera while I manoevred up and down the east watercourse bank trying to get a good shot, which was amusing if a little precarious. Husband waved it around.

The two moths below were found in gazelle field yesterday afternoon, superficially similar but a second look shows many differences. There are probably many other moths like this (family Pyralidae?) - worth taking a pic of every one just to see what variation exists.

This charming little grasshopper perched in one convenient spot on this young Eryngium

That Eryngium is really popping up everywhere, I even found some in my garden today! I laugh at myself that I was not even aware of its existence till very recently. Also blooming now is 3 spot pink ( Dianthus ) seen in gazelle field yesterday and today, golden thistle (Scolymus hispanicus) were blooming gloriously alongside the trail by the cistern and the globe thistle looks poised to bloom in many places. Looking for interesting insects on these so I can get a two in one shot for the season.

Now much of the lower fields and wayside has turned to dried stalks and leaves, of thistles, cereals and other plants and the bulk of the spring growing season is pretty much over. As we know, more species will appear over the summer, such as the globe thistles and mullein but for most of them business is pretty much done. We must continue to watch the thistle heads as many birds love the seeds especially greenfinches and goldfinches.. the latter I haven't seen in a while.

Hyrax just down from pumping station, stared at us from a few feet off.. their faces always manage to look horrified, indignant and suspicious all at the same time! Feral dog seen later by itself.. I though this was mother of a family group we'd seen before but no others about. Forgot to mention bats around look out corner last night but not today.

Birds: laughing doves about, pair on roof top edge, one preening the other, one looked messy, as if he'd just had a bath somewhere. Feral pigeons on other roof tops. Collared doves and turtle doves in the woods, cooing.

Blackbird song and some chakchak alarm calls, graceful warbler, greenfinches twittering, chawing active in many parts of the woods, Syrian woodpecker calls. A number of common swifts high over east valley hawking for aerial insects. Hooded crows, jackdaws and Eurasian jays about as usual. Tristram's grackle flew over from neighbourhood to windsurfer hill, calling repeatedly. Again! We'd seen exactly this in recent days but didn't note the time but could be regular thing, like that sparrowhawk that regularly returned from hill to woods about sunset, same route.

We met some boys coming back from the cistern. they'd just caught a bucket load of quite well grown tadpoles (of the green toads) and also water boatmen. Cicadas were also shrilling loudly in the Pistacio orchard to cistern area and crickets also starting up. The large black millipedes were seen draped over viper's bugloss clumps along valley road.

Hot day today! When we left the house at about 6.46 p.m. temp was just under 31 degrees C (range today 25.5-35.7 degrees C) , humidity just 15%, winds WNW 10.4 kt

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