Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Square-Foot Nature Study

As we came back from a walk this afternoon, Triss noticed an interesting new yellow bud on the coreopsis plant.

(The flowers on our coreopsis have mostly wilted and swelled and we are wondering when and how they will burst open with seeds. Since the square foot of ground around that plant is our "square-foot study", I thought it would be nice to make a little journal entry of what we saw.)

Triss reached down to lift the stem in order to give me a better viewpoint, and as she did, her fingers brushed the bud. Eight legs uncurled... It was a crab spider! (Needless to say, Triss was not amused. Weeks and weeks of reading The Life of a Spider has not endeared these creatures to her.)

We tried and tried to get a picture, but the camera would not cooperate. First Triss tried, and then she held the stem so I could try, and then Mariel held the stem for me, and then Mariel tried while I held the stem, and then Triss tried again. We got a halfway decent shot of a red ladybug in the midst of all this, but no spider. (I also nearly stepped on a red wasp wandering in and out of the coreopsis, while a mockingbird landed and took a short walk on the grass near us, so quiet and still we were being.)

I think the value of this nature encounter was that we stayed in place and looked for so long.

We also have a jumping spider in the artificial flower wreath on our front door. I have read that these spiders will wheel and jump toward humans, and have experienced that myself, but our jumping spider has behaved herself quite moderately, staying inside her tiny den whenever we open the door. We really should move her, but she hasn't harmed anyone.

crab spider

3 comments:

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

I know how you feel about wanting to get a perfect shot of something like the spider and not getting the camera to cooperate. :(

Anyway, your words described your attempts very well and I love that you saw the benefit of really observing quietly in one spot, even if you didn't get the photo.

Great job,
Barb-Harmony Art mom

Katie said...

Thanks, Barb. We were really startled to realize there was a bird walking so close to us! (It is easy to see from this comment that we tend to walk past nature rather than sitting and letting it come to us!)

I get so inspired when I see all the pretty nature pictures on your blog. You have some good photographers at your house!

B.A.M. said...

I loved reading your post, It made me smile!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!--Angie in GA