wildlife macro

A bull ant, also known as a bulldog ant, scoping its area on a rock. While these ants can be highly vicious, this one didn’t mind having its photo taken. There are many kinds of bull ants, some can even jump similar to a flea… Which I did not find amusing when I got bitten by them as a kid. 

Not only do these ants pack a powerful bite, but they will sting at the same time with their abdomen. It is incredibly painful… Geez was it painful.

They’re a very large ant, ranging from 8mm-40mm. Instead of building their own nest, they’ll invade an already inhabited nest and keep it for their own.

We came across many of these on Mt Gulaga, but they never paid us any attention, luckily. We kept to ourselves and they kept to themselves.

I think they’re magnificent creatures.

I found this beautiful, pearlescent-tailed spider creating a web on the ground as we were walking up Mt. Gulaga (Mt. Dromedary). This is the surprise! Isn’t it beautiful! I had never seen anything like this spiders tail. 

I looked it up and found that it is a “Sequin Spider” or “Mirror Spider” from the Thwaitesia family which are known to have reflective, pearlescent patches on their body. 

I could’ve worn this spider like a jewel, a beautiful broach, if it didn’t mind so much!

A “dew” covered green tree python (Morelia virdis). Pythons are non-venomous ambush predators, using their camouflage to remain hidden from sight until prey venture close enough to be captured.

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2016 top 5 for Gray-Card.

In no particular order:
1. Wild Animal - a coast garter snake found with Zacharge near Half Moon Bay
2. Colony - a nest built by Formica obscuripes in the Cascade Range in WA
3. Arrival - Formica obscuripes at the White Pine campsite
4. Something Important - a stunning evening in the high desert
5. Sodium - an orb weaver illuminated by a street lamp

My 2016 was a mixture of horror and adventure. I made bad choices. I traveled. I stressed. I worked too much. I fell in love. The year ended better than it began.

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Tiny crabs on the beach filter through the sands during low tide forming rows of tiny little balls. They feed on meiofauna (microscopic invertebrate organisms which live between the grains of sand) forming balls of clean sand.

And when I say tiny, I mean TINY. Second photo has Alberto’s watch for reference.