St Andrews Cross Spider

St Andrews Cross Spider - Photograph by Laura Lecce
St Andrews Cross Spider – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Not necessarily an image you want with your leisurely morning coffee whilst browsing your WordPress reader (sorry for that). This spider is just one of the species under the genus Argiope which are known for the striking colors on their abdomen. A. keyserlingi and A. aetherea are found in Australia and we call them St Andrews Cross spiders because they sit in the very center of the web with pairs of legs together in an X shape. They also often incorporate a much larger X across the web with silk (part of this can be seen in the bottom left of this photo). Rest assured, this is one of Australia’s friendly spiders which wont kill you     😉

Capuchin Madness

It takes time to be old and wise - Photograph by Laura Lecce
It takes time to be old and wise – Photograph by Laura Lecce

I was lucky enough to encounter many Capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica. After watching them for some time, I was able to observe some of their relationships and behaviors. In the first image, I had clearly met one of the more senior and respected members of the group. This individual was happiest observing the humans that were observing him, and was quite content in sitting back and allowing the other younger capuchins to cause a raucous.

The Coast is Clear - Photograph by Laura Lecce
The Coast is Clear – Photograph by Laura Lecce

They often moved together as large family groups, and when they did it was like a tornado moving through the trees. At one point they needed to cross a road, and before letting the mums and bubs exit the safety of the trees, they sent out scouts (pictured in the second image) to make sure the coast was clear. Once the scouts gave the all clear, monkey after monkey came flying out of the trees to scurry across the road and back into the jungle. Some of their leaps from tree to tree were incredibly far and seemed very dangerous, but they were completely confident and surefooted.

Caught Making a Mess - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Caught Making a Mess – Photograph by Laura Lecce

The monkey pictured in this last photo was caught making quite a mess with the little fruits hanging from this palm tree. Surely a source of food for these cuties, but at times it looked like it was having more fun throwing the fruits to the ground than actually caring to eat them. I think their cute little faces easily fool humans into thinking they are very friendly, but in contrary they can be quite aggressive and territorial and wont hesitate to flash some pretty sharp canines if you get too close.

Flower Friday – Serenity

Peaceful - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Peaceful – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This week has been a hectic one at work, which will unfortunately continue all weekend. So for todays flower I felt the need to counteract the craziness with a peaceful and serene photograph. I have no idea what this plant is named, but it had only a few glorious white flowers on a giant vine. It caught my eye because of the way the light was shining on it. I hope it brings calm and peace to you all for the ending of this week. Have a lovely weekend!

Dance of the Dragonfly

Red Dragonfly - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Red Dragonfly – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This one’s for you Walter… (for everyone else, if you want to see AMAZING dragonfly photos you should most definitely click here to visit Walter Sanfords blog). So here are my amateur attempts at photographing some dragonflies, and I’ve discovered that you need a lot of patience to do this. These first two are from Singapore, which were sitting in a giant lily pond in the national botanic gardens, a stunning place, especially if you like orchids.

Another Red Dragonfly - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Another Red Dragonfly – Photograph by Laura Lecce

The last one was from Costa Rica, and was continually circling a small pool of water outside my door. I stood for at least 45 minutes (felt like hours) in sweltering hot sun and ridiculous humidity, sweating like never before, all waiting for this dragonfly to land so I could take a damn photo. It actually did land every now and then, always in the same spot, but only for a second before taking off again and flying in circles. So I knew exactly where to point my camera and wait for the landing. Disappointingly, this was as close as I could get, otherwise it refused to land at all. So not a great photo, but I really tried!

Pink Dragonfly - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Pink Dragonfly – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Hopeful of Spring

Hopeful of Spring - Art by Laura Lecce
Hopeful of Spring – Art by Laura Lecce

This past weekend was a bit of a cold and ugly one in New York, so I didn’t get outside much. I was wishing for better spring weather, but it seems like winter is trying its best not to let go too soon. So instead I painted my own spring, just a fun, light and colorful piece to brighten up my weekend. I hope it brightens up your week too!

Flower Friday – Dahlia

Dahlia - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Dahlia – Photograph by Laura Lecce

When I took this photo, I never imagined this was actually a dahlia, although now that I look at the buds and leaves more closely it makes sense. The dahlias my granddad used to grow always looked like giant pompoms (which is correctly spelt pompon in French, but was misheard as pompom by the English). Anyways, back on topic… dahlias have such a large array of variations because unlike most other plants which have two sets of chromosomes, they actually have eight! This allows for a multitude of genetic combinations and contributes to the wide diversity seen amongst these lovely flowers. Have a bright and cheery weekend everyone!

A Dark and Moody Sunset

A Dark and Moody Sunset - Photograph by Laura Lecce
A Dark and Moody Sunset – Photograph by Laura Lecce

As I was scrolling through my photo collection for todays post, this particular photo resonated with my current mood. I have a cold at the moment which is draining my energy, much like the waning sun at the end of the day. This image is dark and angry much like my thoughts at having to work even when I am sick, and not having the motivation to do any of the things I love. However this image also brings hope, hope that my cold ends with this closing day, and that maybe tomorrow I will wake up bright and happy again with the new sun.