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June 1st, 2008 - Happy June!

Holy Smoke! All kinds of weird things going on!
First of all, the pair of robins that renovated the old sparrow nest on top of our bat house are the proud (and a little nervous) parents of four gasping mouths. Not a lot of noise out of those yet, but we're expecting it any time now. To get this picture I had to set my camera up on my long tripod, pulled a l l t h e w a y out (which is about 8 ft.), put it on self-timer and manual focus, and stand on the plastic chaise lounge while I hold the whole setup by the bottom of the folded up legs and stretch up as far as I can hoping I'm the same distance away from the nest as I was when I focused on the wall of the house at ground level. Then of course mom & dad aren't too apprieciative of me messing around and strobing their kids with some weird flashing stick. So I tried to not strees them out too much, but we had to see what was going on up there, them being sublet tenants and all.
They did a nice job with the renovation making the old nest into sort of a cocoon and securing it with erosion netting and other crafty found articles.
There is a constant tag-team of worm wrangling going on now, it's a good thing it's been rainy lately. More on this as it develops.

Then as Hap & I were walking the Lagoon yesterday I saw this little caterpillar weaving around on the stucco of the Highway 55 Sound Wall. Pretty ornate when you see them up close. I'm getting better with the macro lens, but not what I would consider predictable with it yet. Anyway, I think this one belongs somewhere in the family of Nymphalidae, Brushfooted Butterflies, but that's a guess. Reminds me a lot of Bill the Cat from the front.Ahhh, stretch it out. Come on butt, work with me on this.
Then as I was typing away yesterday this fellow yo-yoed down a strand of gossamer about a foot away from my head and started checcking out my coffee cup coaster. He is only about a half an inch long but looks pretty menacing up close. Talk about eyes in the back of your head, how do they process all of that information? I'm pretty sure it's a type of Jumping Spider, probably a Phidippus clarus related to Mick Jagger from the cardinalis group. Under those irridescent green appendages are a couple pretty good-sized fangs for a half-inch long spider. He seemed pretty mellow tho, not a real fast mover, but Sharon relocated him outside while I was brushing my teeth. Cie la Vie.

Meanwhile, after further research I am renaming our little turtle Capt'n Jackie, as I think the he is a she. So far she's doing pretty well, seems active and her ear/eye infection looks like it is going down a bit. She swims like a doodlebug and likes to sit in your hand and look at you, wondering why you are so big. Hope she makes it, I think this week is a pretty crucial time. We'll see if the robins will share some worms with us for her.

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