Monday, March 15, 2010

Just random things!

When I went out to put the recycle bin on the curb I noticed a lot of limbs that had fallen in the yard during the recent strong winds. As I was putting the limbs into the bucket to throw them out I noticed they had some interesting fungi and lichens on them, so I went inside and got my camera. It doesn't take much to make my "ADD" kick in and get me off track! :) As I was picking up one limb, I noticed a tiny orange mite crawling across the surface. It is VERY difficult to get a decent photo of a 1mm critter that is in constant movement with a macro lens and no tripod! I like to challenge myself!

The maple trees are blooming, giving them a red hue. Thanks to the squirrels that like to bite the blooming twigs off, there were several of them on the ground. It is hard to believe that in about another month or so these tiny red flowers will become the large green "helicopters" that twirl down from the trees in a strong breeze. These are the female parts of the flowers, the pistils. The male parts, the stamens, are just barely visible because they have not yet emerged. The two genders don't emerge on the same tree at the same time in order to prevent self-pollination.

Last week I pulled up many Bitter Cress weeds and just tossed them in the yard. Today I noticed one that had become a "zombie", it had been torn from its roots, was upside down and the leaves were wilted, BUT the flower stems had turned upward and they were still blooming!!! A floral Twilight Zone! :-0 These little non-native weeds are awful, they have pods that pop and throw their seeds. They are one of the first plants to bloom in the spring.

I was happy to see my bird buddy, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker back at the suet feeder today! He is such a handsome guy. I hope he will find a "girlfriend" soon and establish a territory in the neighborhood.

Just as I was getting ready to go back in the house, I noticed at lethargic honeybee on one of my patio planters. I guess it was still a little cold for her. It gave me a chance to get some shots of her before she took off. It was interesting to see how hairy she is. It is easy to see how honeybees can be so efficient in spreading pollen. Note the little ovals on her abdomen, those are her spiracles, the breathing holes.

Pretty soon I should have some wildflower photos to put on here. But for now I have to get my "photography fix" anyway I can! :)

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