Today was a very rainy day. I was on my own and I wanted to make the most of it. My plan was to chase butterflies, but because of the rain and overcast conditions I thought I wouldn’t happen. But late in the afternoon it got warmer and quit raining. I thought I would at least try.
I went to Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve, which is a Jasper County (Iowa) park near Grinnell. The ground was soggy, and only a few very common butterflies were flying. So I walked around and basically got skunked with my butterfly photography.
But I stopped near a burr oak tree in the shelter area. Since everything was still wet, the lichens (at least three species) were at their most spectacular colors. I took some photos of some of the life forms on the trunk of this tree.
I noticed this jumping spider on the trunk. It was somewhat active, and there seemed to be several of the same species.
Another smaller spider was present as well.
There were a couple of leafhopper species present.
The fruiting body of a fungus:
At least three species of ants, including this one:
And a snail:
I think the snail is Vallonia pulchella.
This was just an evening exercise in macro photography. I have not taken the time to try to identify all of the organisms I saw.
Seems to me someone else (maybe Alex Wild?) recently did something similar but in a lot more depth. I did a quick search on the internet, but did not find it immediately.
It might be cool sometime to do a biological inventory on a single tree–maybe a large oak or cottonwood–to catalog all of the organisms living on it. Maybe some one has already done it.
Could be a project in the future, though…