Archive for June, 2007


Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Four floodgates open at Mansfield dam outside of Austin. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen four open at once. There’s been a lot of rain up in the Hill Country, and since the area for hundreds of square miles is limestone or granite covered by 3 inches of dirt, the rain flows into the river basin pretty quickly. The reservoir behind this dam is up by over 40 feet since the beginning of the year.


Thursday, June 21st, 2007

A spider on a mint flower spray

I don’t have any idea what kind of spider this is. Strangely, I could find no good spider identification site on the net. There are a couple, but they’re not easy to use, and in any case I couldn’t find anything close to this one.

Taken with my E-500, 50mm lens, and a cheap-o off-camera Quantaray flash with a Photoflex umbrella diffuser. It started to rain while I was taking the picture, so the umbrella was handy. The background is dark because it’s relatively distant dirt unilluminated by the flash.

I want to see if I can find a good simple optical slave hot-shoe trigger, so that I can use my old OM series flash instead of the wimpy Quantaray. That’d let me crank down the aperture a couple of stops (I think) and give me a little more depth-of-field.

Belated Update

The spider, apparently named “Samson”, with some sort of flying ant creature.

Papilio polyxenes

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

We planted dill and fennel in our butterfly garden, and almost immediately the plants were targeted by the local Black Swallowtail population.

The butterflies like dill, fennel, parsley, wild carrot, and lots of other stuff apparently. The caterpillars hatch as very tiny things, and then they eat like pigs for a while. Local hornets seem to like the caterpillars a lot.

The butterfly pictured here hatched out inside our house. He had been brought inside while a caterpillar to protect him from aforementioned wasps.

There are actually two caterpillars in the photo. One is pretty small, and the other is about half as big as they get before they form a chrysalis.