Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Death tableau, birds, spider & wasp

I found a spider which looked like a giant wolf spider,the biggest of its type I've ever seen except for the giant brown spider that would occasionally come into houses in Hawaii - I mean they had a leg span of a small tarantula but much smaller body the size of a penny but still not cool to an arachnophobe. Anyway this wolf spider was lying on it's back and not 4" away was a yellow jacket also lying on it's back with the stinger part of it's abdomen gone. Apparently their game of eat and sting/paralyze to lay eggs turned deadly for both! Unfortunately by the time I remembered to take the photo of the two combatants, the wind had come up and blew the yellow jacket away so the picture is of the spider only. Later the ants were swarming the spider trying to make a meal of it. Nothing is wasted.

We must have a predator of birds in the neighborhood. We've seen a sharp shinned hawk occasionally but we've found 5 or 6 birds with heads partially eaten around our bird feeders and if the hawk caught a bird it would usually take it away. It may be the wild cat which frequents our cat bowl left for the neighbor's outside cat but this has never happened before in such a wholesale slaughter. Quite a grisly scene to come upon. I guess these birds will not pass on their incautious genes.

The photo is of a blackbird my wife found lying on a rock close to the serviceberries. I see that the camera has caught the beautiful iridescence around the neck area. This one had no injuries that I could detect so one wonders what killed it? Could it be West Nile disease? And also a photo of a weird dried up bird with very long legs. The skeletal remains are only 4" long and it looks like a baby but what kind of bird is it? The long legs are a mystery.

Then of course the cats bring the yearly offerings of deer mice, shrews, voles and worst of all baby rabbits. Nice to step on a dead mouse walking out of the house. They mean well but I wish they would keep their gifts and not share. Oh well enough of death and dying. Think of all the mini dramas happening around you. Mostly unseen.


Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

I don't know if "cool pictures" is the right thing to say to a death tableau, but... cool pictures! The head on that black bird looks slightly askew--is there a window or mirror nearby that he could have run into, breaking his neck?

7:07 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

The blackbird was found quite aways from any window least 50 feet. We do have a lot of birds hitting our back sliding glass door. Some kinda knock themselves out for a while but none killed. We have a collection of animal skeletons we have found. Some think it's gross that we have these "bones" in little display cases. One woman threw up when my wife said she found a racoon hand on a bike ride and was keeping it for our colletion! ;)

11:32 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Careful that it doesn't have West Nile disease:(. Thank you for the nice compliment on my blog. I have just taken up photography a year ago now and am still trying to figure it all out.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Sandy,
Well your photography is really great. I wish I could do as well. You can see some of Sandy's great photos on her website My Garden on my lists of blogs.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

No windows, eh? The plot thickens! *cue sinister "dun-dun-dun" music here* lol.

I think it's cool that you have those "bones" in display cases. It must feel like you're living in a natural history museum of sorts. :)

5:31 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

We always thought the skulls and skeletons as being the very best kind of sculpture. Highly detailed and dimensional. Much better than most of the pretensious sp? schlock that passes for sculptural art.

A guy I went to school with once said "if you could create a sculpture as small and detailed as an ant and make it move like an ant then you would be a brilliant artist". When you think about it in those terms even the smallest creature or plant is pretty amazing. No wonder the buddhists don't step on ants.

8:01 AM  

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