It's been quite a while since I've posted here. So much rain and cold weather in our corner of the world has kept me from venturing out with a camera. Well, except on some walks - between the raindrops. One can see those photos on my Facebook page.
This sunny morning, upon seeing that one of my irises had bloomed, I pulled out my cell phone to take a few photos, noticed a small blue moth on the flower and thought, wow, lucky me: a flower and a critter in one shot.
As I focused in, however, I saw that the moth was struggling and that's when I spied the spider.
Deeply shaded by redwoods, huckleberry bushes and alders, an old fallen log is covered with myriad types of mosses and lichen, a small pine seedling, and clusters of very small fungi, looking like woodland lanterns. Add to that the ubiquitous blackberry canes, various fallen leaves and needles, and behold the vignette that I see on my daily morning walk.
I was going to save this photo for Halloween but couldn't wait. Just look at the markings on this orb weaver! Look carefully and you will see her web too. So far, I have counted 8 orb weavers in my gardens. That's 4 times more than last year. Yay!
The Hallowe'en month of October seems to be my month for discovering spiders. And I've got a few photos coming that I took before the rains came down and washed the spiders out, along with their glorious webs. Stay tuned.
Hooray! In keeping with the season: The orb weavers seem to be returning in greater numbers than I've seen in the last few years. I equate their presence with a more "normal" autumn leading to rain showers by October. This weather pattern has been woefully lacking for several years, along with fewer and fewer orb weavers. Now they are back and so is the rain: An inch or more in the last few days, setting us up for a cooler, wetter fall. One can hope.
September 22, 2016 at 10:21 AM EDT (7:21 AM PDT) is the exact moment of this year's Autumn Equinox.
Here on Raven Ridge, the leaves have been turning hues of orange, yellow and red for a number of weeks. I don't know if that portends a cold, rainy winter or a cold, dry winter. But, if the balmy evening we had last night, where we were able to stay out on the deck in shirt sleeves until well past 8:30 (almost unheard of on this foggy coast of northern California), is any indication, we probably won't see rain anytime soon.
Depicted here is a Viburnum trilobum, or American Cranberry Bush. It happily grows outside my office window.
Check out this link on The Farmers Almanac web site for fall equinox information. And don't be thrown off by the year in the link, it is really for 2016.
I'm having a love affair with the tuberous begonias that I've planted in hanging baskets on the back deck. They receive about 4 hours of full sun this time of year and when that sun hits them about an hour before setting, the results are magical. This plant is a Picotee hybrid named Calypso. Some of the blooms are 4-inches across.