Saturday, July 31, 2010

Green Lynx Spider

Peucetia viridians, Green Lynx Spider
Green Lynx Spider Resting on Cosmos
Young Green Lynx on Fennel Blossoms
I have been watching this lovely spider.  He had claimed one particular cosmos blossom and could be found there daily.  When the bloom began to drop petals, he still was loyal.  When the flower switched from nectar-producing to seed-producing, the spider moved to a neighboring, fresh cosmos.  His position must have nectar to lure prey, after all.  During the day, his colors help hide him from birds.  At night, the Green Lynx  assumes a more expectant posture:  I see the Lynx hang forward off the edge of the petals, his front two legs raised and extended, ready to pounce and seize.  One bit of silk might be secured as a drag line.  There is no web. The Green Lynx is a hunter.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hooker's Eryngo

A starry ground:  Hooker's Eryngo, Eryngium hookeri
Bumble Bee gathering nectar
Honey Bee sipping nectar
Have you ever seen something for the first time and found it so beautiful or unusual that you felt dazzled?  That was my experience with this stunning native flower.   Its color ranges from green to shades of purple and silver.  As you can see, it is a wonderful nectar source for the pollinators.  It looks sharp and prickily  and it is!  Those points will go right though blue jeans.  I imagine that is how the Eryngo protects itself from being chomped by grazing animals.  We can grow this summer annual from seeds in our Texas gardens.