THE MAGIC FOREST AFTERNOON

in Amazing Nature2 months ago (edited)

There is a lush coastal forest about ten kilometers from where I live, in between the village called Shishan and the sea, and a week or so ago ...

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... I went for a walk through that enchanted area.

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The soft delicate plants on the ground ... some kind of mosses, I guess, looked a bit like something that will grow in an aquarium ...

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... among these green tufts, on the thick layer of rotting foliage, the lovely Cyclamen purpurascens flowers were growing ... here you can see one, blurred in the background ... and the following, enlargeable shot ...

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... is focused on the cyclamen, that leads the viewer's eye deeper into the forest, frozen inside this wide shot.

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There is plenty of animal life here ...

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... but is well hidden ... or camouflaged ...

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... these spiders, probably from the Lycosidae family, that run very fast around the forest floor, from shelter to shelter, can easily disappear from sight when they are motionless.

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Many trees are partly eroded and very contorted ...

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... each one in its own, particular way ...

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... there are many holes that look like hideouts of some monster.

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It's easy to get detached from the usual reality, while rambling around this place, and slowly enter a fantasy setting ...

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... in spaces in between exposed roots of some trees ...

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... you can find interesting little caves, carpeted with cobwebs ...

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... with some mysterious objects hanging on the entrance ... these sacks definitely look like some witchcraft stuff ...

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... but they are the work of a spider ... some soecies from the Agelenidae (Funnelweb Weavers) family, I think ... and it looks like an egg sack, but I'm not sure, because I actually never encountered the well hidden spider ... only this silky architecture ...

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... and the remains of his meals ...

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... these shots were taken in another small cavity between the roots ... as you can see, each of these sacks made of silk and fragments of soil, desiccated plants, and insect parts, is slightly different ...

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... in jet another spider cavern, under the collection of rings from the millipede exoskeleton ...

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... that immediately reminded me of the adventures in Middle-earth :D of course ...

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... I found a strange, minuscule arachnid that I never saw before ...

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... the Damaeus onustus mite that feeds on minuscule fungi particles, and covers its body with various minuscule fragments, so it looks a lot like a minuscule version of those well camouflaged crabs covered with algae that I encounter in the sea ...

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... this is some extremely small stuff ... a macro bordering with micro :D, so getting these shots required a lot of concentration and patience. On this photograph you can see some minuscule insect as well, it looks like a beetle ... I didn't notice it while photographing, only later, at home, when I enlarged the picture on the PC monitor I saw this detail. These photographs were taken at the maximum magnification that my lens could provide, and the pictures had to be heavily cropped to look like they look now, here in the post.

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I passed by a bunch of European firebugs (Pyrrhocoris apterus) ...

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... some of them were mating on the carpet made of fallen leaves ...

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... and found this entire millipede caught by the silky threads ...

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... hanging from the ceiling of another spider's den ...

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... at the base of the tree.

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Then I passed by a tree stump ...

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... with some colorful Ganoderma mushroom on it.

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Humid cavities in this kind of stumps are often covered with fungi and bacteria that, when combined with the textures of the wood, create some lovely decorations.

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While sniffing around ...

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... surrounded by dense and lush vegetation ...

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... amazed by the shapes ... colors ...

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... and a multitude of great, iconic details that just had to be photographed ...

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... I came across a muddy wellness center used by wild boars. I saw many tracks and the surrounding trees were abraded and muddy exactly at the wild boar height. The animals themselves, were hidden somewhere, probably not very far, while I was exploring and photographing the place in the CSI style :D.

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A bit further ...

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... on the trees, I found some interesting mushrooms with hexagonal pores ... they were colored in a very vivid shade of brown, almost orange, on their underside ...

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... while the upper side of the fruiting body was black as the tar ...

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... and when it comes to toughness, these mushrooms were kind of indestructible ... hard as the wood on which they have grown.

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On the wig of some small, young tree I found this interesting hanging thing ... it looked like an egg of some Neuroptera at first sight, but a better look at the texture and the material with which has been built suggested more the idea of an egg sack of some spider ... but at the end, I must conclude that I don't know what exactly this is. Not far, on another branch of the same tree ...

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... I found another interesting hanging sack ... and this pretty elegant and sophisticated construction is definitively an egg sack ... of the Ero furcata pirate spider (Mimetidae family) ... on the following shot ...

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... you can take a look at the adult spider ... that is very hard to noticed on the forest floor or the bark of the tree. These spiders prey almost exclusively on other spiders. Usually they hunt by picking at the strands on their prey's web to simulate the movements of either a trapped insect or a potential mate. When their prey comes to investigate, they are instead captured and eaten. Some Mimetidae have been seen feeding on insects as well. The spider-feeding habit presents problems in mating, and according to Wikipedia article - little is known about how the males court females to avoid being eaten.

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I found another sack ...

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... on a strange, beautiful, and very resilient plant that grows around the trees in many areas of this forest - the Ruscus aculeatus, commonly known as the Butcher's-broom. The slightly creepy common name, butcher's broom, derives from one of its original uses. Ruscus species were traditionally harvested for their flat and stiff branches to make small brooms that were used for clearing off and cleaning butchering blocks. Recent research has uncovered that butcher's broom contains some antibacterial compounds. This suggests that in addition to the functional physical properties of these plants, the unrecognized antibacterial oils increased effectiveness in cleaning and producing safer products, and may have contributed to its popularity and subsequent nickname.

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The interesting little flowers of this thorny evergreen shrub appear in spring, and quite strangely, it looks that they grow from the leaves ... these leaf - like phylloclades are flattened shoots that resemble the leaves and have the same photosynthetic function, but are actually interestingly shaped branches, not leaves.

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The tiny flowers are followed by a small green fruit ...

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... that grows and turns red when completely developed. The seeds inside the beautiful red berry are distributed by birds.

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On this plant I photographed this, temporarily unknown shield bug ... I wasn't able to find out the name of the species on the Internet ...

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... and another spider ...

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... the female of Philodromus dispar, a Running Crab Spider (Philodromidae) species.

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In the same area, some minuscule snail was caught in the cobweb spread above the entrance in some small cavity under a rotting tree stump.

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A moment later, on some small twig ...

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... I found these interesting cocoons ... or, I don't know - some kind of eggs? ... you can see an elegant cover on one of them, that has been removed from the top of the structure, but it's still there ... I don't know what small arthropod produced this.

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After some more walking, I arrived at some rocks that were standing like a wall on the slope of a small hill ...

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... the moss has created some interesting abstractions here ...

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... this robust fly, I don't know the exact species, was resting on that artwork.

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In one of the many cavities on this rock formation ...

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... I found another construction of some Agelenidae spider ...

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... the interesting sack was hanging from the ceiling ... in front of the entrance into the silky tunnel.

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The light was getting pretty low in the woods when I passed by this overturned cyclamen leaf ...

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... and when I got out of the dense vegetation, the evening was almost there ...

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... I was standing on the small path that leads out of the forest ... with lovely Veronica chamaedrys flowers all around my feet ... when I finally encountered a Sus scrofa family :) ... In the following video, a sort of gran finale of this forest journey, you can see and here that magic evening atmosphere. Have a good viewing.

▶️ Watch on 3Speak


A look at the wild boar family ... the video starts with a bunch of extremely cute piglets ... and then the mother arrives :) ... blackbirds are singing all the way, like they knew I don't know how to create good music, and I really needed a soundtrack ... I'm very grateful to those pigs and birds for letting me record this video. As most of my videos, this is just a small fragment of a much longer post on HIVE, and it's more interesting when seen in that context.


▶️ 3Speak

And that's all ... as always in these posts on HIVE, the photographs and the video are my work - THE END.

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A spider cemetery. Mushrooms and tree that together look like a proud peacock to me. And a pig finale. Wonderful, magical post. Borjan is back in the forest again, and nature obliges with its wonders.

:D

Hello friend @borjan, I enjoy the spectacular and varied tours that you give us every week.

I discover through your photos a wonderful world of vegetation and
vegetation and fauna, the magic forest enchanted me. Congratulations

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers

We appreciate your work and your post has been manually curated by zoology team (oscurity,nelinoeva) on behalf of Amazing Nature Community. Keep up the good work!

Great repertoire of photos about insects, arachnids in nature! nature never ceases to amaze us!

Thank you :)

Amazing world of nature. I didn't think spider life could be so exciting.

!LUV

I found this post really fascinating! That fungus with the hexagonal underside was so cool! I like spiders and love that you showed so many of the webs and egg sacks.

I was waiting for the boar, and enjoyed an unrealistic amount of macro shots! And when it came to the boar, it turned out to be much more than I expected!) Thank you for such a wonderful post!

:)

Hi @borjan,I saw the video, I saw the animals and heard the birds, the striped animals were eating and I counted nine ha, ha, ha, ha while they were eating I counted them, I know why you stayed almost until dark as you say in the post, a very varied post and a very nice video.
A hug

:)

There are so many amazing shots in this post. The ones of the spiders are just spectacular. I love the one that looks translucent. And of course the wild boar piglets are absolutely adorable.

Thanks :) glad you like this report from the woods in my area.

Wow! You got so close to them, surely they smelled but didn't view you as a threat. Wild boars are no joke, we have some in parts of the USA, they quickly go feral within weeks of escaping farms. We do have a native species, the javelina, which is very similar to a wild boar, but it's only in the southwestern USA.

Cool :) I saw the American wild pigs only in documentaries ... the first time long ago when I was a kid, in Disney's documentary about deserts, and I remember them being pretty aggressive when threatened ... ours can also be grumpy and dangerous, but I encountered them many times and never had a bad experience.

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