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The Daily Bucket is the place to catch your casual observations of the natural world and turn them into a valuable resource.  Whether it's the first flowers of spring or that odd bug in your basement, don't be afraid to toss your thoughts into the bucket.  Check here for a more complete description.

It's a great pleasure to host my first daily bucket.  Here in Tallahassee, Florida it is a fairly cool day with clouds and a stiff breeze but no hint of rain.

Our big observation this AM was that a Golden Silk spider (Nephila clavipes)had built a web overnight across the front of a rocking chair on our deck.

Sorry no picture as I am temporarily unable to upload anything new.

They are large and impressive spiders (at least the females).  The one on the chair is about an inch long (body only) with a leg span of about 3 inches.  I've seen them twice that size.  It's the first one we've seen this year which is a bit unusual, perhaps due to the drought.

The same chair also houses the nest of some sort of solitary wasp (family Sphecidae).  She's found some minute crack in the metal tubes that make up the frame and gotten inside.  I only get brief glimpses as she comes and goes.

In non-chair related news we continue to have large numbers of juvenile Green Anoles in our yard.  It seems like a very good year for them.  Small flocks of ducks flu by fairly often, the ones I've seen well have been wood ducks.  For the last few days we've been hearing Bald Eagles as well, indicating that they may be back to nest in our neighborhood again this winter.

That's what I've seen near Lake Jackson just north of Tallahassee.  What have you seen and where are you?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Bucket (13+ / 0-)

    This is going to get done a few minutes early.  I did the entire process on my pad (gave up on trying to publish an old spider photo fromphotobucket).  I'll be in and out with house cleaing and other stuff.

    "We are normal and we want our freedom" - Bonzos

    by matching mole on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:49:51 AM PDT

  •  saw my first truly baby Horned Lizard the other (7+ / 0-)

    day...about the size of a fingernail...cute little booger esp considering our full grown ones here are 4-5 inches and fat....Must eat the Pharoe ants when young cause some of our ants are big enough to eat this little guy.....

    Sonoran Desert close to the border.....

    Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
    I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
    Emiliano Zapata

    by buddabelly on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:31:16 AM PDT

    •  I came across a baby short-horned lizard (6+ / 0-)

      in the Chiricahuas at about this time of year but over 20 years ago.

      I'm guessing you have regal horned lizards based on size and habitat.

      Glad to here you still have them.  They often don't do well around people.

      "We are normal and we want our freedom" - Bonzos

      by matching mole on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:41:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  out here they still are common, in town (6+ / 0-)

        not so much though I would see one occasionally......

        Here every major anthill seems to have it's resident lizard....domestic cats are a huge lizard killer though, one reason mine are mostly inside.

        Not sure what species, I'll ck the Desert Museum site and see if I can find my little guys.....

        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
        Emiliano Zapata

        by buddabelly on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:51:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Looking at the pics I'd say you're right, Regal (5+ / 0-)

        Horned lizards.......I have a skull I found a while back that's neat too but the live ones are a lot more fun to watch....

        Pics Regal Horned Lizard from Az Sonoran Desert Museum site....

        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
        Emiliano Zapata

        by buddabelly on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:58:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Heh, this picture: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bwren, buddabelly, Polly Syllabic


          Horney Toads...if the Sireens get me and turn me into a toad, I want it to be this one

          The short-horned lizard bears live young.

           

           and more from the link, and thanks for that!

          When it gets too hot, the horned lizard will burrow into loose soil. Initially, the lizard uses the scales on the front edge of its lower jaw to literally cut into the earth as it vibrates its head into the ground. Then it will shake and shimmy its body into the soil until almost none of it is above the surface.

          awwwww....

          ..squinting all the while in the glare of a culture that radiates ultraviolet consumerism and infrared celebrity...Russell Brand

          by KenBee on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 02:00:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the Desert Museum site rocks, hours of fun (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KenBee, bwren, Polly Syllabic

            all kinds of cool stuff....

            It may be a desert but it's one of the most diverse biospheres in the world.......I love it here.....

            Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
            I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
            Emiliano Zapata

            by buddabelly on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 03:00:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  still have Harris Hawks eyeballin your shickens? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              buddabelly, bwren, Polly Syllabic

              I thought you once said they give them a look see sometimes.

              Harris Hawks are scary,but then, I used to be a squirrel.

              ..squinting all the while in the glare of a culture that radiates ultraviolet consumerism and infrared celebrity...Russell Brand

              by KenBee on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 03:25:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  still lookin but the Great Horned's actually eat (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bwren, KenBee, Polly Syllabic

                a few......Mostly the white ones as they stand out in the dark...The Harris' are still hell on packrats and cottontails though they'll do carrion as well as live kill.  They nest just across the street from my place.....I got my best looks one day when they were on a road kill jackrabbit and I tossed it into the front yard and they followed  very cool raptors....

                Less mortality since I gave the girls an overhead cover but some still prefer to roost outside instead of under their pens roof.....the inner ring fence to keep the yotes mostly out has really helped a ton  worst situation since that fence was finished was a very strange acting skunk I had to put down ...... mid day and out in the open chasing chickens around and leaping drunkenly at them....My brain said Rabies! and my Mossberg responded.....Skunks are the most common vector here.

                I let the girls and guys run when not actively gathering the eggs so they can get all the bugs and such.....in the inner yard area there isn't a scorpion to be found...heh...plus it's just fun to have the flock swarm you when you go out the door.....except for 1 asshole Dark Cornish Rooster who attacks me  heh..thumbs win again, he lives despurred...after inflicting some damage though...

                confuses the Terriers a bit that they're not allowed to chase these weird chicken things but oh well......

                Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                Emiliano Zapata

                by buddabelly on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:18:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  excellent report from buddavillle! (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bwren, buddabelly, Polly Syllabic

                  I luvs me some skunks, we had another skunk hatching this spring, the babies grew up to the sound of our voices, so when I see them I talk to them and they put their tails down and do their thing.

                  Saw one baby skunk kitten hopping around like a baby goat around and around with a baby possum, 3am, good times, good imes.

                  ..squinting all the while in the glare of a culture that radiates ultraviolet consumerism and infrared celebrity...Russell Brand

                  by KenBee on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:20:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I like em too but here they are very reclusive (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    KenBee, Polly Syllabic, bwren

                    in the prev 15 years I've never seen one in the daylight and this one was acting so odd I had no choice....

                    I actually ignored it when it trotted by the first time, well I followed it out of the inner fence so figured it was good...a few minutes later he was back on the other side of the house in a grow off pen acting odd as heck and drunk.....It was very quick for him though. I had grabbed the shotgun instead of the .22 so it was instant....

                    Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                    I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                    Emiliano Zapata

                    by buddabelly on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 11:38:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  rabies is scary..people are casual about it (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      buddabelly, Polly Syllabic, bwren

                      but you can get it from saliva, dishes, wet spots on pets attacked by, roadkill (there's a reason the animal tried to cross the freeway in the daylight)

                      You did it and all it would infect a huge favor, sad to kill something as simple and sweet as a skunk, but you didn't, the virus did.

                      They are blind almost, I've had them ignore me until I made a sound, the they radar in on the source and start sniffing the air.
                        My nephew knows the vector control officer for a poor rural county that had a rabid fox explosion. Foxes were running up to tourists and biting them, in stores,parks, gas stations...several found rabid, many people just drove off and didn't want to hear about rabies, the town tried to keep it quiet cause it was tourist season...ugly and dumb.

                      ..squinting all the while in the glare of a culture that radiates ultraviolet consumerism and infrared celebrity...Russell Brand

                      by KenBee on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:04:32 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  yup hiding something like that should be criminal (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Polly Syllabic, bwren, KenBee

                        I didn't even think of calling the health dept till the next day after it was buried and I was told by someone here in the biz that it was too late....I was very careful with the fluids though,  no exposure for me or any other mammal.....maybe a little blood splatter for the hens in the pen but not much if any......

                        It's pretty rare here but it's almost always a skunk when they find it......

                        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                        Emiliano Zapata

                        by buddabelly on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:35:33 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  oddest though this year has been Gila Monster (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    KenBee, Polly Syllabic, bwren

                    central at my house...5 different lizards over the summer.....that's a lot for a little 5 acre chunk but with the hens there's eggs and with eggs you have Gilas.....

                    Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                    I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                    Emiliano Zapata

                    by buddabelly on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 11:40:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Gooseville, WI (6+ / 0-)

    The sandhill cranes are getting restless. The flocks gathering are flying in larger groups of 10 to 17 today. Crane voices are joyous with anticipation. 62 and rain is coming soon.

    Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. - Abraham Lincoln

    by Polly Syllabic on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:43:34 AM PDT

  •  rain all last night, (6+ / 0-)

    wonderfully cool and damp this morning. Earlier, the Black-capped Chickadees were making their "feebee" call. A Bewick's Wren tried out all manner of calls and snippets of song. Canada Geese flew over the garden this morning and now the crows and one Steller's Jay are yelling from the poplar tree.

    Seattle.

    I came for the politics and stayed for the science.

    by bwren on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:54:33 AM PDT

  •  Omaha, Nebraska (5+ / 0-)

    It's been a cool and dreary weekend.  Yesterday it was just kind of misty but today it has rained all day.  Sadly, this means no butterflies, but the rain did not deter a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird from dining at my Butterfly Bush.

  •  Stow Lake, Goleta, ca` (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwren, Polly Syllabic

    did a slow lap around the lake yesterday after the art show there...hummers swooping and chasing...late afternoon light, a call I  hadn't heard before , a log loud complaint from the brush. I saw what profiled as a blue jay, mocker, or woodpecker (no glasses, heh) and it seemed to be making the calls (40' away)..another showed up and with the same call, but inflected as an answer...then flew away, the first kept it up, and was scratching at mites vigorously as well...and then something like a Spotted Towhee flew out of the leaves right below it...and there were no more calls. I took a picture but it's a fuzzy silhouette..(afterwards remembered my camera can record noise, and used it to call a Canyon Wren from hiding one day :>)...so, as usual I haven't a clue except it was a bird I'm pretty sure...

    Later a Night Heron spooked out of the Euc roost forest and flew over and tried to poo on me :>...no Coots as usually there are 10-20, three Mallard families, the domestic white geese are gone that were there, Bushbirds yo, no Tropical/Western/Cassin's Kingbirds we saw a fiesty flock of once there at this time of the year or the White Kites we usually see. No hawks or even crows. Very oddly silent except for the Black Phoebe and the young Mocker practicing his routines. He'd stop, I whistle a tune, he'd look at me, and start up again...I thought, wow, we are Communicating. After I left he kept it up as before all by himself....such a cheerful racket!

    Usually this such a good spot to birdwatch around the lake and the groves around the Stow House. Nearby is Goleta beach outlet and the Goleta  Slough/marsh..and airport :<, but the Goleta Slough outlet is excellent birding all year round...and so far, free.

    ..squinting all the while in the glare of a culture that radiates ultraviolet consumerism and infrared celebrity...Russell Brand

    by KenBee on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 02:21:21 PM PDT

  •  Lower Hudson Valley (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwren, Polly Syllabic

    I have to stop being so lazy and read about the birds in my area (also listen to their various calls) so I can identify them. I love the bird chorus and the way it changes with the seasons and times of day, but have done nothing but enjoy it so far!

    As for spiders--you're so calm about them :) I know how important they are to the ecosystem, but I have an irrational fear of them. The closest I ever came to enjoying one was a summer when one constructed a large web between the front porch light and the wrought iron railing just beneath it.The web was beautiful to see in the early morning sun and I would often stand and watch it for several minutes. I saw flies and tiny bugs caught in it, and rarely, the spider herself way up at the top.  I called her Charlotte.

    Thanks for the diary.

  •  Iowa City 60 deg all day (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwren, Polly Syllabic

    Cloudy and rainy for a 2nd day. I did go for a walk between showers.

    Tomorrow should be sunny and bright. Looking forward to that.

    I'd rather not know, than have answers that are wrong - R.Feynman

    by jim in IA on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:31:13 PM PDT

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