A fiercely protective female green lynx spider, Peucetia viridans, stands guard on her nest. This one had chosen a fruiting cluster of seedbox, Ludwigia alternifolia, in which to weave her saclike structure. The females are big spiders. Her body is nearly an inch in length, and throw in the legspan and you've got an animal that would pretty much cover a silver dollar. You'd notice this thing if you felt the tickle of one crawling up your arm.
We found this spider and several others of its species in a bramble patch in an open longleaf pine flatwoods bordering the Okefenokee Swamp in south Georgia. I had never seen a green lynx spider before, but figured that it must be some type of lynx spider as soon as I clapped eyes on the beast. We've got a much smaller species in Ohio, the common lynx spider, Oxyopes salticus, and it is widespread and often abundant. It too is colorful and has impressively spined legs.
Note all of the spiderlings surrounding mom. If nothing too big and menacing happens by, they're probably in good hands. As I moved in close for these shots, the female spider would move with me and even seem to make hostile advances. Lynx spiders are active hunters, stalking the shrubs and attacking prey. They use those formidable spines that armor their legs to snare and box in their victims; sort of an Iron Maiden embrace of doom.
To my eyes, the green lynx spider is an impressive, good-looking arachnid. I'm glad that I was able to spend some quality time with these brutish animals.
I am a lifelong Ohioan who has made a study of natural history since the age of eight or so - longer than I can remember! A fascination with birds has grown into an amazement with all of nature, and an insatiable curiosity to learn more. One of my major ambitions is to get more people interested in nature. The more of us who care, the more likely that our natural world will survive.
Unless specifically noted, all photos used on this blog are by Jim McCormac, and are my copyrighted property. If you are interested in the use of any of these photos, please contact me at jimmccormac35 AT gmail DOT com. I am sometimes fine with loaning photos for educational or non-commercial uses, but please ask! I do not give permission for carte blanche use of photos from the site, so please do not ask.
I've been taking photographs for a few decades, but never became fully interested and engaged in photography until 2003. That's when I got my first digital camera. Since then, photography has become a passion and a steadily growing addiction. If you delve back far enough into this blog, you will see photos that were made with a variety of Panasonic point & shoot bridge cameras. Then came a Canon Rebel DSLR, followed by a Nikon D7000. I've since returned to Canon, and use their gear almost exclusively. My camera bodies are a Canon 5D Mark III, which is an awesome full-frame sensor camera, and a Canon 7D Mark II. The latter is a 1.6 crop factor camera, and I use it almost exclusively for birds and distant wildlife.
The lens bag includes the following Canon lenses: 100mm f/2.8L-macro; the sensational but bizarre MP-E 65 mega-macro; a 180mm f/3.5 macro; a 16-35mm f/4L wide-angle; a 50mm f/1.4; a 100-400 f4.5/5.6 II; and a 500mm f/4L II, sometimes used with a 1.4 extender (which makes it a 700mm). I've also got a Tamron 70-200mm (great lens!). I do lots of macro, and my typical flash gear is the Canon Twin-Lite setup. If the gear needs three-legged stabilization, it is mounted on a Manfrotto tripod, attached to an Induro Gimbal head. Finally, I've got a GoPro Hero, which is fully waterproof and can be used for underwater work. Sometimes I even use the camera or video feature on my iPhone 5S smartphone - it's amazing how good phone cameras have become.
Speaking and Guiding Gigs 2016
January 16, 2016 - Ohio Ornithological Society's annual winter raptor day at the Wilds, Muskingum County, Ohio. Leading field trip.
January 20, 2016 - Little Garden Club. Urban Prairie Spikes Biodiversity (talk). Columbus, Ohio.
January 24, 2016 - Aullwood Audubon Center. Wood-warblers: The Rest of the Story (talk). Dayton, Ohio.
February 2, 2016 - Tri-Moraine Audubon. Birding Ohio's North Coast (talk). Lima, Ohio.
February 28, 2016 - Mohican Native Plant Society. Lichens: Crusty Treasure Troves of Biodiversity (talk). The Wilderness Center, Wilmot, Ohio.
March 1, 2016 - Ohio Tree Care Conference. Trees Grow More Than Leaves: The Startling Importance of Caterpillars (talk). Sandusky, Ohio.
March 11-13, 2016. Goose Pond Indiana. Photography Workshop with David FitzSimmons (Talks and fieldwork). Organized by Roberts Camera, Indianapolis, Indiana.
March 21, 2016. National Association for Interpretation annual meeting. Ohio's Natural Wonders (talk). Cherry Valley Lodge, Newark, Ohio.
April 5, 2016 - Western Cuyahoga Audubon. The Importance of Conservation: Exciting New Natural History Discoveries (talk). Rocky River Nature Center, Cleveland, Ohio.
April 27, 2016 - Ohio Heritage Garden volunteer corps. The Importance of Native Plants (talk). Governor's Mansion, Bexley, Ohio.
May 2 thru May 7, 2016 - New River Birding & Nature Festival (talks and lead field trips). Fayetteville, West Virginia.
May 24 thru May 28, 2016 - Nettie Bay Lodge. Birding & Natural History forays in an extraordinary land. Hawks, Michigan.
June 4, 2016 - Optics Fling (lead field trips). Time & Optics, Mt. Hope, Ohio.
June 24-25, 2016 - Grassland Bird Workshop at the Wilds. Give talk and lead field trips. The birding is extraordinary. Cumberland, Ohio.
July 8-10, 2016 - Midwest Native Plant Conference (give talk and lead field trips). Bergamo Center, Dayton, Ohio.
August 5-7, 2016 - Mothapalooza. One of the world's coolest natural history events - not to be missed! (give talk and lead field trips). Shawnee State Forest, Friendship, Ohio.
August 13, 2016 - Pollinator Workshop, sponsored by the Midwest Native Plant Society (emcee and lead field trip). Waynesville, Ohio.
September 10, 2016 - Fall Flora: Those gorgeous but tricky asters, sunflowers, etc. (talk and field trip). Cedar Bog, Urbana, Ohio.
September 20-22, 2016 - Photography Workshop with David FitzSimmon and Art Weber (talks and fabulous field shoots). Lakeside, Ohio.
October 29, 2016 - Northeast Ohio Native Plant Society annual banquet. Lichens: Crusty Treasure Troves of Biodiversity. Location to be announced (somewhere near Cleveland).
More to come!
Birds of Ohio
Lots of info about our avifauna
Great Lakes Nature Guide
A primer of the earth's greatest freshwater resource.
Wild Ohio: The Best of our Natural Heritage
Pictorial essays of Ohio's best remaining natural lands