Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for June 11th, 2012

A bending sage stalk and a resident upon it

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Click for greater size and clarity.

As is true of all plants in the mint family, the stalks of Salvia farinacea are square in cross-section. They also often have a propensity to bend first one way and then the other. On June 1, when I took the picture of mealy blue sage flowers that you saw last time, I noticed one such sinuous sage stalk and decided to photograph it. That it was drying out I could tell from afar, but only when I got close did I see spiderwebs and then the tiny spider that had spun them. I think you’ll agree that this predator is well camouflaged against the pale gray of the sage stalk.

The spider takes up only a minuscule portion of the photograph and is therefore hard to see, but if you click the thumbnail below you can get a better view excerpted from a closer picture that I took during the same photo session.

Joe Lapp informs me that this type of spider is called a mesh web weaver and that it’s in the genus Dictyna within the family Dictynidae. Thanks to Joe, I’ve been able to say more than “Look at the little spider.”

As for the plant, if you focus on the surface texture of the stalk shown here, you can probably understand the mealy in mealy blue sage.


Posted on this date last year: a gorgeous colony of wild sunflowers.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 11, 2012 at 5:49 AM

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