Ever used to read those compilation books? I had a bunch of them, Brer Rabbit and other stories. It was always an invitation whenever I saw a book marked “…and Other Stories” – what were these mysterious other stories? And why were they deemed insignificant? I’d hate to end up as an “other story”. But perhaps, to some people, I am just that. We all are, at the end of the day. We’re all someone’s other story. Here’s my life, and other stories. Embarrassing stories? Steamy stories? Who’s judging?
Anyway, back on track! Today I’m sharing a hodgepodge of images, and we’ll start with a shout-out to all arachnophobes. Jumping spiders are my definite favourite family of spiders, and apart from the fact that they can look you directly in the eye, apart from the fact that they can jump twenty times their body length, they are our friendly, fuzzy, puppy-eyed, cute-as-a-button neighbours. I just can’t get enough of them! Here’s a tiny one in gorgeous golden light.
What’s more, I noticed some of them actually build shelters, not out of pure silk, but using leaves. This particular individual was drawing leaves together as night drew in, presumably tucking himself in for the night. Or perhaps making a sort of “motel” for unsuspecting diurnal creatures? One can just imagine a tired insect stumbling upon this perfectly crafted shelter, crawling in – only to become soup.
On a slightly grander scale, I photographed this popular local waterfall after seeing the elusive Silvered Antbird. Do you know which waterfall? (The answer is in plain sight)
And a bit of a different setting, I carried some folks down to the Pitch Lake in La Brea. While they were being shown around, I of course had to get distracted by a beautiful Black Vulture. They just have so much character – I look at them and see them thinking. Thinking about what? Who knows? But I can tell you that I’ve looked into the eyes of some people and noticed far less mental activity.
Also on the Pitch Lake was this Greater Yellowlegs. For those of you who will soon be owners of my 2017 Calendar, this image will keep you company throughout the migratory highpoint of September.
An awkward “other story”: While walking through the Wild Fowl Trust, we had to take evasive action as there was a high level of activity and splashing going on in a small, raised pond not more than two feet away. There were a couple Muscovy Ducks in it, and it was clear that the larger duck – a drake – had his intentions written all over his face. Before we knew it, he mounted the hen; and fighting my urge to give them privacy, I fired off a few shots before I hurried away. This shot captures the hen’s struggle to maintain her oxygen supply perfectly. Every time she’d pop her head above the surface, he’d push her down again. Hey, if it works, it works!
And today’s featured image – three is a crowd. Can you spot #3?