Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The meadow at Fort Ancient

Birding at Fort Ancient
...continued from yesterday's post.

At the South Fort, just before the North Lookout, I found a lovely meadow filled with wildflowers, bees, butterflies and hummingbird moths...not to mention a bird or two!

Thistle is always willing to sit still for a photo
...unlike the little brown birds flitting around.

The tiny little spider on the right is yellow-green
and very pretty with reddish stripes and a red
head band. I have no idea what type he is...
(Click to enlarge...)

Note: Maree of Art & Creativity just wrote in and thinks this little fellow is a crab spider. She said crab spiders take on the color of the flower they are sitting on (see her comment in the comment section). A chameleon-like crab spider...how cool! I need to get a book on spiders and read up, but I have to admit they sort of give me the willies. I had a nasty little black spider live in my ear for about 12 hours one day, and it was truly horrible. I didn't know he was in there...I thought it was water. By the end of the day I had a fever and the crackling was driving me insane! I jumped up and down, shaking my head sideways while lightly pounding on my head to dislodge the "water." I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror. Eventually, a black spider crawled out of my ear canal and into my hand. Needless to say, it freaked me out, and I've been wary of the fellows ever since! I went to the emergency room because I was afraid he was a she and may have laid eggs. When you go to the ER with a spider in the ear, they jump to. Apparently if they bite you, since it's so close to the brain, it can be bad. So.....that's the reason I have not bought a spider book. I think I need to get over that!

Another lovely sign! Yeah...the meadow is being
maintained! I don't know if they are worried about
non-native invasive species, but they
are keeping it cut as a meadow...

Do you see the bit in the sign about Bobwhite quail? It's been years since I've heard one, and the last time I saw one was in 1991 at Clifty Falls in Indiana. When I was a kid we had a slew of them in our backyard. I grew up hearing their lovely song all the time! The horrible blizzard and severe winter of 1978 decimated their population, and their numbers have not been restored to those of the 60s and early 70s. I can't wait to hear them again (Bob...Bob....White!).

25 comments:

Anna said...

Kelly, these are beautiful close ups, and if you didn't say anything about spider, I probably would miss it, lol. You know I have that all the time, I take photos of flower heads, and yet later I find all cool insects. Too bad about Bobwhite quail, and unfortunately I never seen one. Take care Kelly and hope all is well otherwise. Anna :)

Tabib said...

Beautiful macro shots.
You made ordinary wild flowers look great.

holdingmoments said...

Youv'e captured that thistle perfectly in the first Kelly.

I hope you get to see the Bobwhite quail again.

Elaine said...

Exquisite photos, Kelly!

Nick S said...

Beauuuutiful pics of thistle Kelly.
I too hope you get to see the Bobwhite again. They are very cool birds.

Chris said...

Beautiful shots Kelly,
I'm eager to see more from the area, But where are the birds? ;-)

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos Kelly and yes, I did enlarge one to see the tiny spider :)

I'm sorry I missed your last posts so have just looked through and that was a lovely photo of the Turkey Vulture. I also thoroughly enjoyed the post about the Box Turtle, the photos and the interesting information. Great stuff as always Kelly :)

T and S said...

Those images of that flower is beautiful, you get to appreciate it once you see the larger version of your image.

JKoenig said...

Both those pictures when enlarged show so much detail and beauty that we ordinarily never see.

Great photos.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Love that shot of the thistle!
That is so sad about the Bobwhite quail...I hope they are working on bringing up their numbers again!

Maree said...

Beautiful pics Kelly. The little spider is probably a crab spider - they normally take on the colour of the flower they're sitting on. Yours has chosen the yellow-green part of the thistle, probably because they can't go lilac or purple. I've seen them in my garden in white, yellow, red, orange and this green colour. they often sit with their front legs spread flat to the sides of their bodies, ready to grab the next unsuspecting meal!

Steve B said...

I'm getting caught up with your posts. Love the A. Gold Finches and the box turtle.

janet said...

I love your blog, your photos are wonderful!
The spider in the ear is quite creepy, glad you got it out.

Tammie Lee said...

Hello Kelly,
I am forgetting the name of this thistle. we have it here too and folks are told to Control it! Poison it, pull it what ever it takes. It makes a delicious honey!!! I guess it is not too good for cows. I love that sign! And a spider in your ear, not that sounds like a horrible experience! I had an ant in my ear once and the noise was unbearable! Then it walked out. Geez!

Montanagirl said...

Great photos Kelly. I would have guessed a crab spider too. That's horrible about the spider in your ear! That would really freak me out.

Maree said...

My word Kelly! A spider in your ear!That's enough to freak anybody out! I absolutely love the little fellas, but definitely not inside any part of me.

Jenny said...

YIKES Kelly!!! That is one horrific spider story! UG! That made me shiver....ALOT! Those thistles are beautiful in that light.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kel, I have never been bitten by a spider nor had one in my ear. BUT---I don't care much for them either, and really don't want to find out more about them.

You found a gorgeous haven when you found Fort Ancient. That place is marvelous.. I can't wait to hear and see more of your findings as you go there.

I remember Bob-bob-white.... I hadn't thought about those birds since I was a child. Wow!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy

Gabrielle said...

A spider in your EAR!!???! Now I'm going to have nightmares! No wonder spiders give you the creeps.

I agree with Maree that it is probably a crab spider. They are really cool. I've seen a good assortment over the years - yellow (including one with the red stripe like yours) white, light green, and pinkish.

I'm getting rusty on my eastern weeds, but the same thing that Tammie Lee said crossed my mind. There are some beautiful thistles that are unfortunately invasive and taking over natural areas, pushing out the native plants. Your local county extension service should be able to tell you which thistles are native and which are invasive. Nevertheless, it is beautiful and the crab spider a great find.

Kelly said...

....thanks, everyone! yes...the spider was gross and scary...the whole thing was freaky, and I didn't like it one bit!
..this looks a little like field thistle to me which is a native thistle variety, but I'm not sure. I'm not good at telling the thistles apart. Sometimes they all look like Bull Thistle or Canada Thistle, which are both non-natives. I need to continue to learn more about wildflowers.

Midmarsh John said...

The first thistle photo is a real beauty. Just the right angle to show the shape and colour.

Sue said...

Such a wonderful close-up...I'm glad you mentioned the spider-I would have missed him. He blends!

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Oh my, I love thistles. Must have something to do with my Scottish heritage. Lovely photos! Love the chickadees above too:)

Mary said...

That thistle shot is gorgeous! I haven't seen a bobwhite since the lots around us all got houses built on them. I get so frustrated with the park where I see meadowlarks, because they mow the field where the meadowlarks hang out...even though it is a field that humans are suppose to stay out of because it is a former landfill! What is the point of mowing it at all????

dAwN said...

Beautiful shots of the thistle Kelly!
Too bad about the bobwhite.
I tell u this past spring at my sisters in NC..we heard one every night..very cool!