From newest to oldest.
Macodes petola ‘Exotic Jungle’
It looks like I’m not skilled enough to fully capture the beauty of the jewel orchid Macodes petola. The glittering leaves sport a deep brown color with a satin texture that’s difficult to get perfectly right, not to mention the goldish green venation (that also glitters)… Anyway, it’s definitely one of the most mesmerizing plant I have ever seen.
A stark and hostile ball of spines that suddenly produces dazzling golden flowers is a surreal sight, and definitely the highlight of the year 2022.
Meta menardi, the European cave spider, is a not-so-rare species that is rarely seen because adult specimens usually live in complete darkness. The first two uncropped photos show the same individual, an adult female (I think so) that reaches 5-6 cm legspan. The location – a troop shelter from the late 19th century – has high relative humidity and moderate temperature variations throughout the year. There were quite a lot of juveniles around, but just a few adults. Other inhabitants of this grim place included mosquitoes from the genus Culex, and a hibernating moth, Scoliopteryx libatrix.
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