Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Photographing Flowers

While I was out in my garden the other day photographing some flowers I noticed something peculiar. On one of my flowers was a honey bee, but it wasn't buzzing around collecting pollen. It was just sitting inside one of my rhododendron flowers not moving around at all. Upon closer inspection I saw a spider hiding inside the petals.

Crab Spider with captured Honey Bee. Look how much pollen this bee has!

I thought this to be an unfortunate fate for the bee, but fairly fascinating for my children to observe. As a homeschooling parent, I love nature studies! Anything to get my kids outdoors and exploring. We love getting out our cameras or nature journals to capture the gorgeous Earth at its finest. Charlotte Mason's nature studies are also some of my favorite things to read my children.

My kids came over to see what I was looking at so intently. I showed them and they were intrigued at what they saw. We had never seen this display in real life and never so up close as this was. Then little by little throughout the day my children found others. One had a bumble bee and another was just waiting to catch something. My kids were excited at what we found.

Crab Spider preying on a Bumble Bee.

We found out later through some research and inquiry that these spiders were called Crab Spiders. They are a certain variety of spiders that don't make webs, but instead hide out in flowers waiting to pounce on their unsuspecting prey. Some are brightly colored to match their favorite flower hiding spot and others can change their colors to camouflage themselves, much like a chameleon does.

Crab Spider playing hide and seek in the Snow Drops. Do you see it?

I believe all creatures are fascinating, even spiders! What a glorious world we live in! So diverse and intricate. So much to explore and learn. I love nature!

UPDATE: May 1, 2014

Can you see it? My daughter didn't when she picked this Dandelion.

My daughter Zari picked a dandelion that was going to seed because she loves to blow them around. Guess what we found lurking in the seeds of the plant? You guessed it! Another crab spider! I had my camera ready and captured it hanging onto the seeds. We believe that it was probably lost, because usually these spiders like to hang out in flowers that attract pollinators. This one was hiding in a dandelion that probably wouldn't be so attractive because of the stage it was in.

Crab Spider perched on the seeds of a Dandelion.


Lindsey said...

This is SO cool! I can't believe you captured this in photo more than once! Next time you see this, I hope you take a video. :) I pinned this post to my nature study board - hope to see more posts like this!

tara pittman said...

That looks like a bee but cool that it is a spider. I m not a bug fan, they make me scream.

momsicle said...

Wow!! I love this post! The photos are gorgeous and I learned something really cool. Sharing with a homeschooling friend of mine whose kids would love this!

Mary Ann said...

Very cool! I've never even heard of these spiders before, but incredibly interesting to learn about.

OrangeMew said...

I think I would have totally had a different reaction to all these spiders :X