Monday, August 20, 2012

Snapshot Sunday: What's With All The Screaming?

I was shifting the small goats' pasture to new ground today when I moved some old wood out of the way of the fence, and found this lady in an odd, knobby jumper:


Mother was not very happy about the roof coming off.  I only had my phone with me to further invade her privacy, so the photo is not what it could have been.

She's a wolf spider (family Lycosidae) and the kids have just hatched. That's their empty egg case she's carrying behind her like a limp balloon.  Once they hatch, they climb her legs and ride around on her back until they are big enough to go off on their own to hunt.

Field guide authors and nature writers feel the curious need to emphasize the "solitary" nature of the wolf spider, as if they were some kind of weird hermits in contrast to the normally highly gregarious arachnid clan.

Really? So carrying several hundred of your family members around as they jostle for position on your back for a good chunk of your own lifespan is not enough togetherness for any arthropod?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Snapshot Saturday: Her Dorkness, Lady Mayor of Dorkville

Lady is five months old. She is constructed entirely from legs, tail, and schnozz.  She has no earthly idea where her feet are located, as every morning she wakes up and they have once again migrated.

Although they like her, all the adult dogs can read the Kick Me sign that Nature has painted on her ass.  They regard this as a kind of sacred duty. Face Mecca and flatten the puppy five times a day.

I think this stage is among the most charming in puppydom. No more issues about wee-wee on the rug, minimal discussions about chewing That Which Is Not Yours, but hours of comic relief as the Lady Mayor trips on the stairs, runs into trees, flees crabby chickens, and generally rules Dorkville with a benign and ridiculously outsized paw. 

What? What about my ears?

Lady is living in free-range foster in Southwest Pennsylvania, and looking for her forever home via National English Shepherd Rescue. There is no earthly reason she needs to stay here in foster. It's not fair for us to bogart all the puppy amusement.