Butterfly Dust

A spider expert participating in #Arachtober on Twitter wanted a dorsal image of my hammock spider to confirm my identification. I explained that it wouldn't be easy to get as they make their webs fairly close to the ground and then hang under them. I was absolutely delighted this morning when I found one a little higher than usual in a tangle of brambles. I crawled underneath it, lay on my back and shot it against the beautiful blue sky, its defining 'tuning fork' mark clearly visible.

The back door ivy bush was buzzing. I nearly blipped a hornet and its hoverfly mimic. In the end I've gone for butterfly 'dust.' We never handled butterflies as children for fear of damaging what I now know are scales modified from hairs. This red admiral was loving the ivy nectar.

Today's poem is Break, Break, Break by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45318/break-break-break

No ambiguity about this. It's easy to understand and very affecting. It's an elegy for Tennyson's dear friend Arthur Hallam who died suddenly from a stroke at the age of only twenty-two. I love this rendition of it with Richard Wagner's "Song to the Evening Star" from Tannhauser playing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM7Cp7qZiR4

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