These spiders have webs all along the trails around the Audubon Swamp Garden at Magnolia Plantation. During our visit June 26th there was a lot of mating activity. Look closely in this photo and you will see the much smaller black male on this side of the more colorful female. An exoskeleton she recently shed is stuck in the web just above them.
(Click any photo to enlarge.)
Our guide on the walk says these spiders won’t jump out onto human passers by. I reminded myself of that a few times as we passed under some webs. We’ll return in a few weeks and see how family life is progressing.
In the mean time the pond surfaces were active with dragonflies in a variety of colors scooping up other insects.
Spider lilies didn’t seem to mind the heat with their roots in several inches of water.
The temperature rose to nearly 70 degrees in central Connecticut today, which is most unusual for December 24th. Late this afternoon I walked around our back yard and was surprised to find a Black-Eyed Susan and a Purple Violet in bloom. Both flowers looked like they had been chewed on, likely by some bug that also shouldn’t be out at this time of year.
The Downy Woodpeckers kept to their routine as the afternoon light waned.
The rose gardens at Elizabeth Park are still full of promise with fresh blooms opening daily. The plants on the archways, popular for prom and wedding photos, don’t look so healthy right now, but the bushes in the rows between range from having one or two blooms to massive displays.
The individual blooms are outstanding in a range of warm colors reaching for the late summer sun.