The Small Things

I don’t get out and photograph as much as I’d like to in this lowcountry heat.  A string of days with heat indices in the 100s [think 110 to 125] makes anything outside a bit of a chore. But while running between oases of air conditioning, I have managed to snap a few photos this summer.

People aren’t the only ones to feel the heat under the grueling Summer Sun. Many creatures take cover out of sight, making them more difficult to spot, especially when the Sun is at its highest. This is especially true for the alligators and deer. Some creatures, the smaller ones, don’t seem to be bothered by the boiling air.

This fellow seemed to love the mid-day heat, but not my camera in his face.  Probably hunting for other insects, this Milkweed Assassin Bug was perched just below the flower with his head facing upward. Either the wasp or my camera spooked him into what looks like a get-out-of-here wave. Though not visible in the photo, this bug has a long proboscis, used to pierce any bug without protective armor that happens too close.

This little fellow, perhaps hiding from direct sunlight, was perched prominently on a leaf, though a few visitors missed seeing him. I still can’t pinpoint his name, but I think he’s a brown green tree froglet.

This little 5 year old alligator was floating in a shaded pool filled with mosquito fish. He was the only gator visible during midafternoon, but there was evidence of alligator activity:

If you look closely, you’ll see not only where the tail scraped through the dirt, but also the claw marks and where the alligator lazily dragged its feet between steps.

Mud dauber nests are so neat, unless of course, you are a spider. The wasp-relatives hunt the spiders down, paralyze them with a sting, and then encase them in the tombs for hungry mud dauber larva to eat. Though a spider’s worst nightmare, mud daubers aren’t a threat because of their non-aggressive, just curious, nature.  The difference in colors comes from the different sources of mud that the dauber visits. My guess is that the grey on the left comes from the parking lot, the brown from the swamp, and maybe the yellows from some of the higher trails around the area. Pretty neat to think about!

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2 thoughts on “The Small Things

  1. Wonderful photos as always! Thanks for the nature lesson :)

    I agree with it being way too hot really enjoy being outside much. My photographing has mostly been on hold due to the heat index. If my camera doesn’t melt, I might :)

    Gene

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