I don’t sit still. It’s hard! I never did – sit still. Colleen laughs. She has every right – to laugh. A spider was out in the open settled on his/her web waiting. We were – Colleen was – stripping golden rod to make a dye bath for her fiber. Natural dying!
Not being able to sit and not helping to strip, I experimented. I put a flower on the web. The spider reacted quickly. Dinner?! Interesting. It encapsulated the flower and then cut it from the web. No trash! The debris might otherwise make the web noticeable like the red balls on a powerlines to warn passing planes. Yes, interesting.
It is a feat of engineering – a spider web. It was not perfect in a geometric sense. Invisible. For sure. Almost unnoticeable except for the big fat spider. I wondered. It got spooked and retreated to the nearest plant, nearly invisible itself. I guess the plan works. It was not a thin looking spider.
Does my living room look less worse? Cluttered? Ha ha. The floor us complete! Awesome! We did it! Colleen would defer. But, indeed, she helped! Assembly required, we had to return everything to its place. Note: a few (only a few) things did not return.
I had saws on both decks. Thank goodness. The sawdust! See the spider webs revealed by the stray dust?! (We got lots of spiders!) I cannot be certain, but, we passed, cat inspection. Mistakes? A few. How about waiting a day for a new floor nailer? 16 gauge nails do not fit when it calls for 18 gauge. Duh?! Yeah, guilty! Not too bright! In the end… great job, looks fantastic, I’m glad it’s done.
My place … or … yours?
Life. Some people are neat. As in, they keep their house neat and precise, everything in its place, no clutter. I could hardly say that about my house/our house. We were at each other’s throat when I pronounced that our mess had to … straighten up. We are never really clean, it’s all under the proverbial rug. Hey! That’s us! So! A tale of two webs: side by side, they are in adjacent windows looking out from my desk. (Sorry. You have to enlarge the pics to see this. Then, laugh!) For practical purposes, they are there to catch other bugs in order to feed the spiders. One web, for sure, has at least three spiders using it. And, that one is messy. Roommates, they do not appear to clean up or maintain; they just partake of the bounty of bugs caught in the web. The other web is quite nice and geometrically arranged. It appears a single spider maintains her home neatly. Why is it always a woman? … just like my ex-wife… whom I do not particularly miss, by the way. Colleen and I live with the mess we created and are as “happy as a bug in a rug.”
Live life? Or, record it? Dave has an iPhone. He does not travel with a camera, not even a point and shoot. He takes fantastic pictures with his phone. It records the memories of his myriad travels. I, record everything from the mundane to the weird. There is some sublime? Mostly, I photograph what is around me. Memory fades, images remain a bright and firm reminder of what I passed. Two points of view. I wish Dave appreciated my point and recorded his travels more. In contrast, he has lived a lifetime of experiences in recent years that few have achieved. Go for it, live life to its fullest. Savor without stopping to make a record every ten feet.
Lighthouse? What lighthouse? Which? Dave embarked on cross country bike trip with a “just bought” used bike, without a plan. Me, I shoot oddities: spider webs, the moon in the clouds at night, sunset where I find it, and graphic patterns of everyday life. Memory, blogs, travel, it’s all downstream. Does it fade?
When this post publishes, Colleen and I will be on our first extended travel since Covid. And, yes, I will be recording the memories of our trip.
By now I can be accused of pushing an old joke… too far. Museums. Irreverence. Heinous. Not quite. You would not call (my composite) art too? I’ve been at it for a while. Don’t ask me to collect the past examples. Fun? You bet. The essential element? A tolerant wife. It’s collaboration. After all Colleen took all those pics of me. Ok! That said, we found a typo in one of the exhibits: 2923, wrong date. We are still masking up. That’s a mirror – reflection, not doorway.
Droopy spider web? It seems in the morning mist/fog with the water droplets upon it, a spider web will droop. Who knew? There was a big old hairy ugly spider who had this web. Along came an albino juvenile. It just happened to wander into my picture. As you can see the web is not so architecturally symmetrically accurate. Should we be disappointed? Or, all spiders are not OCD.
As long as we are talking mist and water, can you appreciate the small droplets and detail at the end of this hibiscus flower? Macro photography opened up a new world for me this summer.
Too many images, too little time/space to post.
When I shoot hundreds of images a day, it’s often not about quality as much as quantity. Why so many? … to be sure I did not miss the one that got away. Make sense? Not to me either. I just shoot. I experiment. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised. I know there can be a world of from difference one shot to the next. Subtle sometimes, but, always it is a surprise how one can almost miss the moment. Clouds in the sky… never repeat. I will also admit that shooting the rain on a spider web is a whole lot easier with a macro lens. Ok! And with a straight face, I challenge you to figure out how I flattened a peach and kept the juice in?
It ain’t easy
Ho hum. We see a photo and it’s just commonplace. We hardly pause to consider the technical skill needed to get the shot. Sometimes it’s just luck and happy circumstance. Trust me. It ain’t easy to photograph a spider web. Sure, you’ve seen a million of ‘em. I will readily tell you that the web is so fine, your spiffy camera does not want to focus. It will focus anywhere but upon that fine thread. We had a couple of big ugly spiders slumming on our deck this past summer. I don’t like bugs to begin with. But I got shots. Fighting backlighting is another challenge in getting the “shot.” Spiders eat bugs too. Ain’t that grand? My point? Getting an image of a web is hard to do!
Apropos to the day: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” (Sir Walter Scott, 1808)
And in case you don’t get it: “Oh what a tangled web we weave/When first we practice to deceive’ means that when you lie or act dishonestly you are initiating problems and a domino structure of complications which eventually run out of control.”
Hard to do
The conditions need to be just so in order to photograph a spider web. The camera does not want to focus on the tiny strands. I did it… yay… but it’s not particularly inspiring. I will wait another day. Meanwhile, it’s not easy posing your cats. And for that matter it’s hard to photograph a strawberry… without eating it first. That happened to the blackberry (no pic available).
Similar to my previous post this image was serendipitous. I carry a camera constantly close within reach. This spider was crawling about on the container. I shot and shot. Its body was partly translucent and detail is poor at the front. But look at the web that trails. No other shot I took shows this. It’s cool. I don’t get this shot despite all the spiders that live in my garden and home.
You live with them never quite knowing how many there are. They eat mosquitoes… the enemy of my enemy… The morning dew had not lifted yet. Wow! We have spiders! I wish they’d eat more mosquitoes. I have three citronella candles, three citronella plants, home made mosquito remedy – cheap beer, peppermint mouthwash, and Epsom salt – and real chemical bug spray. Nah! None of it works.
Big and Ugly
Hey! A spider on its web! Big and ugly, did I tell you I don’t like bugs? It was hard to shoot. The darn web was moving in the wind. It was just like underwater where everything is moving too. I’d have tried for better detail but I was not too committed to the shot. After all it’s big and ugly. But, spiders gotta eat too. This web looked functional more than artistic.