Thursday, August 20, 2009

Summer's Sunset (SWF)

Summer's Sunset

Orange Sulphur on Queen Anne's Lace at sunset

There is a sense of waiting, as if suspended over a great space—
the final weeks of summer hang, so still and expectant.
This field, now empty of swallows, gone, as large flocks congregate and pass across the skies above the tree line, their backdrop, the tumbling clouds pushed ahead of what would be a welcome change.

I visit the gum grove, where, in other years I have found the wheel bugs, poised at the edge of the star-shaped leaves, patient for their prey--and curious of my camera. But, this year, do not find them.
A mantis hangs patiently instead, her strong forelegs grasping what had been a honeybee, drawn to the periwinkle blue of the chicory, fallen face-forward in gentle boughs across the grassy path. She munches her softly furred find, turning her alien head and sidestepping with the grace given her in four long, slender legs, behind the knotty stem.
Except for the intermittent drone of the cicada, all is quiet here.
The stillness, deep and discernible.
The giant hush has fallen.

Black and Yellow Garden Spider, Argiope aurantia

At the edge of the pond--a new development, broad and billowing, to span 14 inches of prime, waterfront property.
In the center, waits a spider, her brilliant body etched in black shadow, riding an almost imperceptible breeze forward and falling slowly back.
A teneral dragonfly has taken her first breaths here, out of water, while her soft wings wait for readiness to fly.

Garden Spider, Argiope aurantia and Eastern Pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis

Clever, waiting one,
to catch the winged dragon,
one need not have wings.

See more Skywatch here.

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Gunilla said...

Fantastic photos. Thanks for sharing.

Gunilla in Sweden

cestoady said...

Those Garden Spiders have expansive webs that pose problems for birds that would fly through them if it was not for the white, jagged deposit, so well shown on your first spider pic, that warns birds of the web. I wonder if a flying dragon would avoid a web for the same reason.

bobbie said...


william said...

Beautiful piece of writing, I really enjoyed the poetry and rhythmn. Thanks, I will return.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I was too busy reading your prose to look at the sky. Great shots though.

Deborah Godin said...

I must redouble my efforts to spot one of those beautiful orbweavers around here. And the clouded sulphur is one of my summertime faves. Lovley post!

JOE TODD said...

Beautiful photos I'm going to have to get a better camera

Photo Cache said...

love your blog.

Texas Travelers said...

Like the skw sunset, really like the butterflies, really, really like the Argiope.

Nice photos.

Come visit,
Troy and Martha

J Bar said...

Brilliant sunset.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Louise said...

This is a terrific post! The sky is beautiful, the butterfly and Queen Anne's Lace is absolutely exquisite, and I love yellow and black spiders!

LV said...

Loved your post. You did a nice job putting everything together to create such an interesting post.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo's and post. Happy Friday! :)

TSannie said...

Beautiful spider there.

Regina said...

These are amazing!

Elisabeth's bright side said...

Wonderful pictures and little story!

Eric said...

Great sunset here!!, also the pics from the spiders are stunning, well done!!

Have a nice SWF

bettyl said...

All photos are really great. The sun rays are gorgeous and I love the little creatures, too.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Wow--to be there for an argiope catching a pondhawk. Woo! Tough to watch, I'd imagine.
Try Orange Sulfur for that butterfly--looks to have a good spot of orange in the forewing.
Eee! Eee! eee!

Science Chimp, counting coup