Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bugs, again

we noticed a little ball of tiny insects last spring, but didn't get pictures, and forgot about them. i noticed them again this year, in the same place. when they clump together they look like a blob of, well, something, maybe eggs. when disturbed, even by my breath, they wiggle like mad and spread out. they are almost certainly spiders. they are fascinating to watch. a day of rain has moved them on.
the spiders are about one and a half inches in front of the the wood. the vertical piece is one and a half inches thick.

the camera lens is about an inch from the spiders.

a closer view of the photo above

how about that stephen colbert? he was somehow allowed to address the white house correspondents dinner last saturday evening and used comedy and irony most effectively to embarrass the president, the vice-president, justice scalia, sundry other bad actors in the administration, and most of the press corps--for, in each case, their own public utterances and evasions, their contempt for reality and the constitution, and their general arrogance of position and power. the lack of applause was, in my humble opinion, the most potent indicator of the accuracy of his uber-subtle jibes. although i suppose "they aren't rearranging deck chairs on the titanic, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the hindenburg" is not so subtle. we happened, most fortunately, to check c-span and tuned in to the live broadcast of the event in the middle of bush's attempt at humor. then they introduced colbert. we laughed. we howled. we asked each other "did he really say THAT?" if you missed it, or want a rerun, click on stephen's picture above.


spider update: our crack research team (RD) here at chez bums has discovered the id of the baby spiders. she used the arcane and esoteric method of googling "black and yellow spider." the pirate, that would be me, sez "doh!" i tried bugguide but quickly gave up in the face of a zillion spiders.

so, they are Argiope aurantia. my style manual is silent on the preference for the plural form for spiders, so aurantias or aurantiae. below is a picture of adults i found on bug guide, after i knew the name of the spider. an example of sexual dimorphism, and how often does one get to work that term into conversation.
copyright Troy Bartlett

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