Life's Little Moments

By dbifulco

Blue-plate special at the Montauk Diner

The Montauk daisies are the last to bloom in my pollinator garden, proving lovely mounds of white flowers...and a haven for both predator and pollinator.  It amazes me how, as soon as the daisies begin to open, there are suddenly little predators, like this Northern Crab Spider, to be found lurking on nearly every blossom.  Sometimes they sit right out in the open, but more often, they are tucked into the petals... waiting for some unsuspecting pollinator to come along.  Flies seemed to be on the menu today with this little spider devouring a small syrphid fly and this one, eating a MUCH larger fly.  

In addition to the little crab spiders, there were also assassin bugs to be found lurking and hunting.  I was watching one as it slowly crept up on a small bee ...only to be disappointed when the bee took flight just as the assassin was about to strike. 

Hubs was doing some mulching out front under our cedar trees and found a toad that had partially buried itself under a hosta plant.  Because they are nocturnal hunters, they often dig under soil or leaves during the day.  When the temperatures get colder, he will dig down deeper and spend the winter buried away.  Fascinating.  And I loved that Hubs came and got me to show it to me, and also carefully left the area where the toad was hiding uncovered by mulch.  

Nice long chat with my parents this morning.  They've left Oregon and are now in northern California for a while, doing some walking and geo caching.  Today they were going to be walking in the area where the western subspecies of Monarch winters, hoping to see some early arrivals.  

Haven't seen a hummingbird since late last week, so unless we get a straggler migrating through, we're done for the year.  I'll keep a feeder up until the end of October, just in case...


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