Sunday, 21 March 2010

Flying Spiders

The great thing about wildlife is not knowing what is going to catch the eye each time I go out. Today it was these little spiders on fencing at Strawberry Hill.

It was only when one "flew away" that I realised what many of them were up to. They climbed to the top of the fence posts, stood on tip-toe, raised their abdomen into the air:

and sprayed a loose bundle of silk (gossamer) into the light breeze:

then, when the tension was sufficient, launched backwards into the air. With limited depth of field and the rapid departure, unfortunately the only launch I managed to capture was out-of-focus. (Maybe next time?)

These two weren't interested in flying though:

Once finished, they tapped each other on the back with their forelegs and rapidly backed apart.

Photos by Keith Balmer

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Common Wasp Queen

A splendid Vespula vulgaris queen was skulking around in leaf litter on Maulden Heath on Thursday 18th March, preening and chewing a leg...

Friday, 19 March 2010

The Kiss

A tender moment during the orgy at Tom's Pond on Thursday 18th March. Neither turned into a prince...

Photo by Keith Balmer.