Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Macro Fun

This evening Chris stayed at work to play games, and Gabe was sleeping soundly in his carseat by the time I got home, so I took the macro lense out for some fun. This is tickseed, coreopsis. It's a native flower that I picked up at the Garden in the Woods.

I didn't plant any milkweed this year, but there are several volunteers in the yard. These blossoms look to me like fireworks made with origami. So beautiful!

And look what was eating my pretty flower! This, it turns out, is one of only a few insects that can eat milkweed: the red milkweed beetle, or Tetraopes tetraophthalmus. I caught the little devil red-handed, mandibles sunk in a well-chewed flower bud. But he was on the alert, and dived deeper into the flower when he saw me coming at him with the camera.

In one of the bushes near the house I reached in to pull a weed, and almost put my hand through this spider brood. I have had a particular fondness for baby spiders ever since "Charlotte" in our milk box made babies for us. In retrospect, since that took place in Japan, we should have given the spider a Japanese name, but we were kids and Charlotte's Web was fresh on our minds.

Here is one of the babies from that previous image.

I wouldn't have been able to see this with my naked eye: an empty spider skin, one of many in the tangle of webs and legs.


MrILoveTheAnts said...

Very nice plants you have there. The coreopsis is pretty. I love the milkweed and it's good to see it in use. Once I asked Doug Tallamy, "what eats Monarch Caterpillars because they're so poisonous?" Well apparently a lot eats them, as because he rambled off a list of 20 or so birds, wasps, and parasitic flies just off the top of his head. That Tetraopes beetle's days are numbers.

Michelle said...

Thank you for visiting, Mr. Ants, and thank you for the nice comments!