May 3, 2010

Hanging with the ladies...

The green anole, one of the friends we want to have around.
Click on any picture to see it larger, then click again to see it mo' larger!

It's been an exciting time around the yard lately. Charlotte and Andrew and I have been welcoming back old friends and some new ones. The carpenters are here again, though I can't say I'm too glad. Sure, they are pollinating every flowering bush and tree around but do they HAVE to make little condos in my decking? (like in this photo below I found at this really cool insect identification site)

Yes, they're back. Leaving their little piles of dust:

I'll have to run them off somehow and fill the holes with steel wool and caulk, as per the expert instructions.

Also hanging about today were about a billion of these:

She is a red paper wasp, no doubt taking a break from working on the structure that's going up under the awning of my front porch. Yes, she came at me just like that. The one and only photo I took of her and I think she'd be proud! I am presuming she is a she strictly because it fits well with my all-girl theme! But the females do build the nests so it's very likely. Could also be a male in search of a female to ask out on a date.

A little while later...

This regal looking creature showed up. She is a Southern Yellow Jacket queen. Her highness hung out quite a while and was very friendly and compliant as I kept asking her to turn to the left a little... now to the right. I then tried using the magnifier add-ons but my anxiety about being 5 inches away from what I thought was a hornet fogged up the lens and the picture came out fuzzy:

And while all that was going on, this friend was hiding in the vines:

(Click on her and then click again to see her really close up)

It's our old friend the anole! We have these all over the place, and Andrew was taught at an early age how to make earrings out of them. :) This one we will call Annie, due to the braided stripe down her back (as seen in the first photo up top) that her brothers don't have. A close up of her reveals her scales are varying shades of yellow, green, blue and everything in between. She hangs out in the vines, snacking on insects and waiting for Prince Charming to come along. *(and he eventually did!)*

And that's just the back deck. I've got a wicked cool photo of a wolf spider that likes to visit but it's missing at the moment. And some various moths too but the stars of the show right now are the family of wrens living behind a misplaced stepping stone that's been propped up on the deck. More on that later.