Beauties and the Beast, and Slideshows of Summer Wildflowers

daddy long legs on woodland sunflowers
Beauties and the Beast

I enjoy watching Daddy Long Legs spiders—they have so much personality. They appear so fragile but are absolutely fearless, standing atop flowers and hanging on leaves and twigs, waving one or more legs at you and warning not to mess with them, going about their business of stepping from one thing to another, just because they can. You might walk through the woods and see no other spiders at all, but you’ll see plenty of Daddy Long Legs everywhere you go—technically they are not arachnids but “harvestmen“, a separate but related species. Here is a National Geographic article I recently read about how they evolved: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/08/110825-daddy-longlegs-spider-fossils-harvestmen-3d-animals-science/

I couldn’t figure out the orange dots on this one, but I discovered they are actually mites parasitizing the big guy.

The flower they are standing on is a woodland sunflower, abundant in wooded areas along the edges and in clearings. I’ve enjoyed photographing wildflowers in my explorations of the area right around me in Western Pennsylvania. Enjoy a few slideshows of wildflowers from my local travels.

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