Cuckoo wasp

picture of cuckoo wasp caught in spider web
Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysididae) caught in spider web

Sad pic, happy ending for the subject but not the photographer …
This is a very pretty wasp which I have seen only occasionally at home and never got a photo of, until today when I saw one fly into a spider web under the house. I grabbed the camera, took a couple of quick pics, grabbed a twig and carried it outdoors by the web.
So far so good.
I hooked it onto a convenient plant, lifted the camera to get a better shot … and the ungrateful little so-and-so wriggled free of the web and flew off!!

Tackling WordPress

At last – time to get to grips with WordPress!

I tried to install it on my new server during the summer school holidays but ran into a technical problem, then ran out of time to find a solution as the weather kept us busy. (Remember Yasi? Yes, of course. What was the name of the cyclone just before Yasi? Jeez, I dunno.)

Oh, and there was going back to school, and then deciding to install a solar PV system and more floods and … here we are.

Golden Orb-weaver males

Yesterday I found a fairly large (but not full-grown) female in a web between the red-neck palm and the chilli bush. More pleasingly still, she had two males waiting their chance to mate – boxing gloves at the ready. I took some pics, of course, though some with the spiders against the sky didn’t show as much detail as I would have liked.

I went out to look again this morning: the web was damaged and the female had gone but the males were still there and were duly re-photographed.

One of the males

Afterword, Tuesday 22.2.11: By Monday the web hadn’t been repaired, the female hadn’t returned and the males had left. I’m assuming that a bird got the female.

Two Golden Orb-weavers

I was pleased to find a well-grown Golden Orb-weaver in her web between a banana tree and the side fence a few days ago. Then I found another, much smaller (about the body size of a full-grown St Andrew’s Cross spider), near the top rear corner of the yard, low down between a cycad and an ixora. She was happy then, but by the time I came back with my camera she was having problems with a fallen leaf and was running around cutting it out of her web. A few minutes later I fluked a nice shot of her trying to pull the sundered halves back together:

Golden orb-weaver repairing web

But last night we had a terrific thunderstorm just after midnight (70 mm of rain, half of it in half an hour) and this morning both of them were gone – along with lots of smaller spiders, of course.

• This is the first-published post on Green Path proper.