Sunday, August 17, 2008

Prospect Park Part III

I spend more than the first half of my life not really noticing the life all around us. Then I got into birding. But this is really a quiet time for birds. Note this sleepy mute swan hanging out by the Boathouse early yesterday. I did see a black and white warbler yesterday, heading back to the tropics, and a young mockingbird was begging in Prospect Park South today, but it was mostly the insects and spiders that have captured my attention of late. It's quite a challenge to figure out what they are.
But of course, one has to stop for our little local lobsters. I saw this one on Friday by the Nethermead Arches, around 5pm, the second Friday in a row I've run across one of the beasts. I think this is a chimney crayfish, so called because they build chimney-like structures to shack up in. They are nocturnal, but it gets crepuscular in the Ravine early.
Open this image up for a view of the silk emerging from the spined micrathena's weird abdomen. I didn't notice this the first time I looked at this picture. BTW, this web spanned the steps coming down from the rustic shelter above the Ravine. How did she -- this is a female -- connect the two ends of the web, with long supporting stands of silk, some six feet apart?

1 comment:

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

Many spiders use wind-power to build those seemingly impossible webs.