Green Tree Frog

This Green Tree Frog found a cozy leaf on which to snuggle up and blend in among surrounding lake vegetation.

“When I’m home, I like a cozy, comfortable, calming space.” ~Stacy Keibler

The Writing Spider

There seem to be a number of Black and Yellow Garden Spiders making their home among the vegetation around the boardwalk at the lake. These large-orb spiders are also known as the “Writing Spider”, “Zig-Zag Spider” or “Zipper Spider” because of the heavy white silk decorations which are spun into the center of their elaborate webs. The decorations resemble writing, and differ from web to web.

One of the webs caught my attention because of the way the spider was vibrating it back and forth. This is called “web flexing” and is thought to be a defense from predators or a way to entangle prey. Whatever the reason, the action is enough to make one dizzy if watched for very long.

“Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often.”  ~Susan Statham

Dragonfly Perches

Dragonflies use a variety of perches on which to land, and then utilize their large eyes to keep a lookout for both prey and predators.  By choosing a good perch, they have the advantage of resting while being on the hunt. They are also able to use several techniques to regulate their body temperature from this resting position.

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest.  Use both and overlook neither.”  ~Alan Cohen

Grabbing Some Grub

While driving along a road that runs through the refuge, we spotted several different raccoons, including young ones, walking around in shallow swampy water.  With the extremely hot temperatures and sparse rain, the pools were a popular place. At first appearance, the raccoons seemed to be wandering aimlessly around in the water.  However, after watching for a while, it became obvious that they were very methodically scanning the bottom of the pools with their sensitive paws in search of food.  It was interesting to watch the raccoons use their human-like hands to catch and handle the crayfish and frogs that they pulled from the water.

An objective is an ambition, and life without ambition is … well, aimless wandering.”  ~Alfred Wainwright

Swallowtail on Buttonbush

Buttonbush is a wetland shrub whose creamy, ball-shaped blossoms attract many pollinators, including this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

“Tremendous beauty can be found in the tiniest of things… for who has ever thought to rival that of a butterfly’s wing.”  ~Kristen D’Angelo

Changing Direction

This young raccoon came ambling out of a soybean field just as I was walking past on our country road.  Sensing my presence, it lay down and tried to hide in the grass. Realizing that it had been spotted, it quickly turned and headed back for the cover of the soybeans.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”  ~Charles Darwin