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
Walking along the boardwalk, you could hear the lively chirping of birds as they fluttered among the branches high up in the tops of the bald cypress trees.
One of the most visible was the Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler which weaved in and out of the branches, flashing its bright yellow rump and sides as it searched for insects.
An energetic female Red-winged Blackbird clung to branches and did acrobatics as she used her beak to pick treats from among the greenery.
The most flashy of the birds was the Prothonotary Warbler with its bright yellow feathers. Migrating here in early spring, it spends the breeding season nesting and hunting for its favorite diet of insects and snails.
What a delight to be able to hear and observe these busy little birds.
“Spring would not be spring without bird songs.” ~Francis M. Chapman
Reelfoot Lake and the land along the Mississippi levee are favorite places to go for bird-watching. While some birds live there year-round, others migrate in and out at various times of the year, so you never know what you’re going to see. Here are some which were spotted between January and April.
“Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.” ~Alice Walker
Last time we were at Reelfoot Lake, ice formations made by windblown spray decorated the cypress knees and bases of the trees. For the most part, our winter has been mild, with temperatures going from freezing at night to above freezing in the daytime, so though the ice wasn’t as thick as it has been in the past, it was still an impressive and beautiful sight.
“The winter tree is a snowflake dressed in grace and bones, a simple miracle to behold on winter’s lonely road.” ~Angie Weiland-Crosby