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

Missed the Tornadoes

We’ve been running from tornadoes all day.

Before the rain came

Before the rain came

Right before we pulled out of our yard this morning, the sirens went off. We waited until that warning passed, then headed south… listening as the radio reported the line of tornadoes moving northeast away from us.

But the wind was really strong all the way down. The little Casita never budged except when one gust hit us broadside, then it wasn’t bad. The wind did wreak havoc on our gas mileage, though.

Finally we reached our stopping point for the evening — Reed Bingham State Park in Adel, GA.

The weather was too volatile for us to explore the lake and trails.

The weather was too volatile for us to explore the lake and trails.

The wind was still too gusty for us to set up camp chairs even if we had wanted to between the sporadic rain squalls. But we thought we were far enough south that we had missed the tornado danger.

Then our cell phones started beeping tornado warnings. The camp manager came around and told us all to head to the bathrooms. So we left our dinner half eaten on our plates and went.

Fortunately, no tornado hit, but there were some strong winds. And ferocious downpours. We ended up with about 3 inches of rain all around our trailer.

Sunny is loving getting all the doggie attention this trip!

Sunny is loving getting all the doggie attention this trip!

However, I met the coolest woman while we were chatting outside the bathrooms. She has a nice home, but travels all over the country in a pickup truck with a cap outfitted into a camper. She was one of the most fascinating people I have ever talked with! She is bored with Florida and is on her way to Texas now.

She REALLY wants a Casita. Is planning on stopping by the factory in Rice when she gets to Texas.

I’m tired tonight. Was going to get a shower a little earlier but realized I had forgotten to turn on the water heater. It should be ready now.

Sheba is boarding at the vet’s until Monday.  She was not thrilled with the idea.  She broke free of her leash when the veterinary assistants tried to lead her back to the kennels.  They had to chase her down and then CARRY her back there!

Site on the Water & Wild Muscadines

Our new campsite

Yesterday we extended our stay until Sunday.  Since our site was reserved by someone else for the weekend, we had to move.  It really worked out well for us, because one waterfront site happened to be available and we got it!

Storm moving in

The weather yesterday ran the gamut from drizzly in the morning, bright sunshine early in the afternoon, then a ferocious, short lived storm late in the afternoon.

I was out walking the dogs while Ron did laundry when the sky darkened and a very frightening wind started tearing through the campground.  I was so afraid that our awning would be destroyed.  I raced back to the campsite on foot, and Ron left the laundromat when he saw the wind.  We got to the trailer about the same time.  By then the worst of the wind was past, and the deluge hit.

Fortunately the awning wasn’t damaged and we were able to get it in without incident.

Sunny and Sheba

Today is the most beautiful day you could ask for.  Balmy, sunshiny, a delicious breeze, and all the joys of camping on the water.  I have loved watching the boats, jet skis, and even a giant houseboat go by.

Mostly, I’ve just basked in the peace of the panorama of blue skies and blue water while I worked on a cross stitch project for the trailer.   It’s a bicycle in grass with its basket brimming with flowers.  The caption reads, “It’s all about the JOURNEY.”  Isn’t that perfect for a Casita?  I plan to put it on the divider wall.

Wild muscadine grapes

On one of our walks today we found wild muscadine grapes!  A few were ripe enough to pick and eat.  What a fun surprise.

Ripe wild muscadines

 

 

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