recently read and enjoyed

It’s been awhile since I put together a “recently read” post. I’ve actually bookmarked several interesting posts over the past couple of months, but never seemed to get my act together. I’ll try to remedy that situation today. But first, about the spiders. The one above seems to be a Shamrock Spider (Araneus trifolium) and the one below is what is known as the Black and Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia). Both were photographed on August 31, 2007, at the Maccan Tide Bore Viewing Park in Nova Scotia. Both are members of the Family Araneidae (Orbweavers).

* First up, Doug Taron at Gossamer Tapestry has written a thoughtful post that poses the question, Why is this important?. It’s a good read and I suspect that some of you might have something to say on the topic. I’m sure Doug would appreciate receiving any comments. While you’re at Doug’s blog, you may also wish to check out his excellent travelogue, complete with stunning photos, of his recent trip to the Sierras. You’ll find the installments here, and here, and here, and here.

* On a connected theme, Marcia Bonta has written a terrific essay entitled Last Children in the Woods? You’ll see that she has also provided a link to a post by Dave Bonta at Via Negativa, that features a wonderful movie clip on Chasing Dragons. I meant to link to it back when it was posted. Actually, another that I’d meant to link to was Marcia’s post on Chasing Beetles which appeared back in August. Those who like insects will surely enjoy it along with Dave’s beautiful photos which accompany the post.

* Perhaps this doesn’t exactly fall into the “recent read and enjoyed” category, but this one will definitely make you think. Check out the website BreathingEarth to watch an updating map that displays CO2 emissions for different parts of the world. Study it for awhile to see it keeping a running tab on emissions, along with births and deaths.

* Last for today (I’ll do another of these posts very soon), are a collection of photos at Cathy Wilson’s Looking Up blog. Be sure to click on the photo of the bees on the dahlia to see the larger view. That one just slays me.

Okay, that’s all for now.

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6 Responses to “recently read and enjoyed”

  1. Dave Says:

    Hey, thanks for the link! I see I’ll have to spend some more time at Doug’s blog…

  2. DougT Says:

    Hi Bev- Thanks for linking to my post. I checked in here early this morning before you had posted this. Later I noticed my blog traffic was way up for the day- and a lot of it was coming in from your site. Only then did I realize that you had a new post up with a link to me. Thanks, and thanks for the kind words.

  3. robin andrea Says:

    These are great links, bev. I checked that bees in the dahlia pic, and you are right it is grand!

  4. bev Says:

    Dave – Yes, for sure!

    Doug – You’re welcome. I see you’re getting some neat comments to your excellent post.

    robin – I love that bee photo. It really puts you *there*, which is something I always look for in photos.

  5. Wayne Says:

    Wow – very nice Araneus trifolium. Do you also usually see Araneus species mainly in the autumn? I’m suspecting they show up then after the spider-hunting wasps disappear, which seems like an eminently wise thing to do. (BTW – “trifolium” would mean three leaves. I like the idea of an animal taking on the name accorded to a plant :-) .)

    Doug’s excellent article brings up something that’s bothered me too, pretty much the same thing that bothers him. The idea of environmental triage as a pretend necessity.

    Up until the last decade or so I’d have recommended setting aside and protecting from development large tracts of habitat. That would largely circumvent the need for picking and choosing among species to save. Now of course, with climate change and human-made impediments to wildlife movements, we can’t even do that and hope to save ecosystems.

  6. bev Says:

    Wayne – I agree — that’s a particularly nice spider. Very beautiful markings. Yes, we do mainly see Araneus in late summer or early fall. As you say, it could have a lot to do with the spider-hunting wasps. Also, it seems that these big spiders – Araneus and Argiope – do most of their growing once the grasshoppers become large and numerous. I suspect there’s a strong tie between the size of the available prey, and the final growth spurt that seems to occur in the larger spiders as summer comes to an end. Yes, I like that idea of the animal taking on a plant name too!
    Agree about Doug’s article, and about your comment about current conservation efforts. The whole playing field is changing as we speak. In the face of climate change, I feel it will take increasingly heroic efforts in order to preserve species through creation of wildlife corridors leading to havens where species can continue to exist. Unfortunately, this really hasn’t been “built into” most conservation initiatives, so potential corridors have already been destroyed by human development. It’s really incredible to see what a poor job we humans have made of our relentless expansion.

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