Holding back the sun

Thick mist holds back the morning sun at the Fruit Research Station in Clarksville, Arkansas. Taken Dec. 9, 2014, near one of the station’s peach orchards.

Peach trees in the mist.
MIST IN THE ORCHARD — The sun, filtered  by heavy fog, throws peach trees in silhouette at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Fruit Research Station.

She’s a whopper!

This substantial lady was identified as Arkansas’ largest wolf spider, Hogna carolinensis. My hand is next to her in the second photo for scale. Thanks to both Dr. John Hopkins, extension entomologist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, and Dr. Jeffrey Barnes, curator o the University of Arkansas Arthropod Museum for the ID. 

 

Big spider.
BIG SPIDER — Wolf spider resting in the shade of a street sign on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Big spider with hand.
FOR SCALE — Photographer’s hand next to this large female for scale.

Another redhead in the parking lot*

Theparking lots between the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Cooperative Extension  Service headquarters are ringed with a mix of old, tall hardwoods and pines that rise to somewhere in the 50-70 foot range. This thin forest is home to an abundance of life including hawks, raccoons and coyotes. There are several types of woodpeckers too; red-bellied, pileated and this fellow, the red-headed woodpecker.

ON HIGH — Red-headed woodpecker enjoys the view from atop a large, leafless pine tree.

(*The earlier redhead in the parking lot was a spectacular red maple)