Awesome Glimpses of Nature

An ant tending a herd of aphids

An ant tending a herd of aphids

We are still catching up with yardwork after our last trip, and I’m gearing up to install the Fantastic Fan in the Casita next week.  Still need to run the wiring and cut the garnish for the

Roadside flowers before the storm

Roadside flowers before the storm

fan down to size.  I’m also rebuilding a new mount for it because I’m not happy with the one I made.

So — in the meantime, my sister Hope emailed me a treasure trove of pictures taken at her home in north Florida.  They are way too good to keep to myself!  I hope you enjoy them!

Hope captured some great shots of ants herding aphids and stroking them with

Another shot of ants tending their aphids

Another shot of ants tending their aphids

their antennae to milk the sweet honeydew.  If you’ve never heard of that before, you can read about it here.  The ants protect their herd from predators and move the aphids to better food sources when the host plant becomes depleted.  Some ants will even take aphid eggs to their nests and store them over the winter to restock their herd the next year.

Ladybug eating an aphid

Ladybug eating an aphid

She also got a couple of shots of ladybugs eating aphids.

She had another series of photos showing a spider eating a moth (and losing a leg or two in the conflict), and another one of the spider that turned out more foreboding-looking than the first.  I felt too sorry for the poor moth to post the photo of his demise.  🙂

As a Florida native, I’ve seen thousands (at least) of lovebugs.  Usually flying in

Another shot of the ladybug eating the aphid

Another shot of the ladybug eating the aphid

mating pairs and smashing against my windshield and the front of my car.  But I had never seen how they looked up close.  Again, Hope captured that with her camera.

You can click on the photos to enlarge them if you’d like to see more detail.

Lovebugs up close

Lovebugs up close

Spider - missing a leg or two

Spider – missing a leg or two

He looks a lot more menacing here

He looks a lot more menacing here

Not sure what this little creature is.  Maybe an immature grasshopper or cricket?  His head looks kind of like a seahorse's head.

Not sure what this little creature is. Maybe an immature grasshopper or cricket? His head looks kind of like a seahorse’s head.

After the storm

After the storm

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