Thursday, December 25, 2014

Random Photos... Catching Up

We’re still working our way through October.  So, not too much storytelling in this post.

Heading down to the wetlands one afternoon, this Bull Snake beauty had decided to play speed bump.

We were sure that she wouldn’t have been too successful and so after a bit of time appreciating her we encouraged her off of the road with a shovel.

                                This fella had Nicole seriously distracted one day.

It kept doing this thing where it would get up high on its tip toes.  We’ve since
learned that this is called ballooning and it is used as a means of travel.  The goal
is that their silk and eventually the spider itself will be caught by a good air current.
They can travel for days and extensive lengths (900 miles or so) like this and it is
how many of them invade islands and mountaintops.

Nicole spent many minutes attempting to get a shot of this cool behavior.  What
she didn’t expect to get a shot of was the shooting of silk.  That just sort of happened.

Start at the spider’s abdomen and follow the faint white ‘line’ toward the upper left corner.

Around the end of October our Waterfowl Management Area
started filling up with its annual water.

                At that point the trees were still just turning so it was quite pretty.

         The fuzzy stuff is Baccharis.  Which second name this one holds, we have no idea.

It is the female variant though.  The male is more flower-like.

      The female flower looks like little paintbrushes.

This Prairie Clover was blooming in front of the Visitor Center.

A little story for you...

In three years on the road and living in the van we’ve heard of many folks who have experienced problems with rats or mice.   Before we hit the road we stripped the van down to its shell and filled all unused openings to the outside.  It seemed to have been the answer for us as we have remained squeak free.

That is until Nicole started working on the engine one day and left the doghouse off for a bit while inside doing some research.  A few days later she noticed that the paper label on our cocoa was in shreds.  Further investigation confirmed that although our newest visitor had left a mark, he had not been able to establish residency because Nicole closed the doghouse one day while he was out.

That does not mean he did not have intentions of moving in for good.  After all, he had discovered a bag of dehydrated broccoli that we had forgotten about and had been carrying it one piece at a time to the storage location of our climbing gear.  There he had found his way into a plastic bag that held Darlene’s climbing shoes and ...

was creating a tasty little cache for the winter.  The ones in the shoes have an
extra special flavor!

Well, that’s all for now.  Next time we’ll attempt to make it to West Mesa.