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Really getting things started

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Really getting things started

Not a birding post – not a bird in sight.

So, the previous posts on this blog were really just to get my hand in though if you are new to this site, which is probable as it has not been promoted prior to today, you might like to scroll down and look at the post just prior to this one for a really cute squirrel video. To begin at the begining – yesterday I finally ceased full-time employment and now have time and the opportunity to gradually get up to speed as September passes with posts about the wildlife we encounter out here “West of Montreal”. After all the excitement of leaving work yesterday I was determined to start as I mean to go on and to get out and do something rather than lie about in a sluggardly fashion on my first day of liberty. I also wanted to not do birds (there will be more than enough of them to follow) and so we went to the arboretum and tagged along behind a “spider walk” led by our friend Chris who is the naturalist up there.

Nothing rare or spectacular, just some nice critters and a couple of flowers to start the business off.

Let’s start with a flower. This is a wild chicory. Cichorium intybus as far as I know. Not rare at all but attractive and that’s what counts.

Wild chicory

Wild chicory (Cichorium intybus)

This was a walk focussed on spiders, but last nights torrential rain rather did for the webs and made locating them a little harder than we would have liked. Nevertheless, here are three species going about their spidery business. The rather striking black and yellow fellow is Argiope aurantia and is the common “garden spider” in North America though I have to say we have never seen one in our garden.  Read about them at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argiope_aurantia

A pair of unidentified spiders busily making more spiders. There is a good chance that male will be the female's linch by now.

A pair of unidentified Funnel-web spiders busily making more spiders. There is a good chance that male will be the female’s lunch by now.

Black and yellow garden or orb-web spider (Argiope aurantia)

Black and yellow garden or black and yellow orb-web spider (Argiope aurantia)

Lastly a very tiny spider indeed, though if you look carefully you will see that it is trying to increase its size as it is carrying prey. This is a member of the large group known as jumping spiders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_spider) but other than that its species will remain for ever a mystery, all the more so as it transpires that 13% of all spider species – and there are a lot – fall into this group.

Crab spider with prey

Crab spider with prey

Moving now onto shield bugs – aka stink bugs.  These can be really pretty.  You will appreciate that species identifications are generally approximate.

Probably the prosaically named "Green stink bug" (Acrosternum hilare)

Probably the prosaically named “Green stink bug” (Acrosternum hilare)

I think this is one of the Predatory stink bugs (family Penatomidae) but I am struggling to identify down to species

This caused me some trouble, but I believe it is the nymph of the Green stink bug shown as adults in the other two photographs.

Another Green stink bug

Another Green stink bug

I am going to finish with a couple of vertebrates.

The frog is a Gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor) which can be green, gray or brown just to make things confusing – this one is green on top and gray below.  The snake is a Garter snake.

Gray tree frog

Gray tree frog

Garter snake

Garter snake

Garter snake

Garter snake

This is fun – if you would like to be notified of the appearance of a new posting on the site just leave your email address in the space at the top of the sidebar on the right and you will automatically be told when new stuff appears.  It will be a bit slow for the next three weeks but after that I hope to really get into the swing of things.

 

By | 2013-08-31T18:32:29+00:00 August 31st, 2013|amphibians, flowers, insects, snakes, wildlife|0 Comments

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