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.
Last summer I got a full frame mirrorless camera and a real macro lens. Oh no! More lessons! No… But, I will show off my gardening skills. Flowers are great subjects. Instant garden – get plants. I pick the plants for the potential color and subject material. Macro has added a new dimension of interest. There is a fine line between focus, detail, and image.
And, my spider is back. It made a web in front of my windowpane once again. Macro?! Look closely. Do you believe I got a shot(s) as it was spinning its web!? Serendipitous! I saw it in the edit. But, I can say that I guessed it was weaving a web from its movement and behavior. Focus was a trick. But, hey!!
News that fits
No, hardly the NYT. I’d never pass proofreading. Nature. Remember the nature shows that brutally depicted lions taking down a poor animal and shredding it on camera for our initiation into “survival of the fittest?” This spider did brain surgery first. Logic or convenience? It ate the bee? Starting at the head. I got my initial shots and later on was amazed that there was very little left except for some disconnected bones. Nothing goes to waste. You need a lot of energy to spin a web.
Wooden thread spools? We got a jar…. somewhere, at some point, in the past. Why? Dunno. Colleen went through it looking for pink thread. She hates pink. She got sidetracked, as often she does, and looked up the names. Some of these spools date back to the 1800’s. Really?! Well, for sure they stopped making wooden spools a good 50 years ago. How’s that for useless information I did not know I needed. Antique wooden spools, imagine that?
Bad day: tell me, based on the damage and position of the vehicles, how this accident occurred. Did someone do a 180 or 360 circle? We passed this accident. The gray car was second along the road. No time to get a proper photo. I was not trying to hurt the feelings of those involved. They were already having a life changing moment and a very bad day. The damage was bad enough to stop both vehicles immediately. The position of the damage argues against head-on. Or, not? So?
Did you know… spiders will share a single web? … will repair, do repair a damaged web? When I say spiders… I saw the big one, Momma? – and then not one but two little ones. Two. ?? They (the little ones) were both out at the same time. OK! TMI! But it does account for the less than precise appearance of the web. Big Momma has only been seen at night since the little ones appeared. Mostly, there is no one patrolling the silk. Another web in the adjacent window pane has had no sign of any spider. Shy? Gee! The things you learn when first you ….
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” (Sir Walter Scott, 1808)
Drama at the website: it’s gruesome, encased and mummified in silk. It is a soon to be dead bug. Yes, it is still moving. Big momma is out tending to the silk. Maintenance, someone’s gotta do it.
Men in Black, the movie? I’ve seen this guy out running before. He wears a lighted safety vest. Yup! He looks alien! And just as I was getting my shot of “Big Momma,” he went by. Sorry, I coulda done better, but, he went by so fast!
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.
One that got away
I hate bugs. It doesn’t stop me from photographing them. The clouds do not form up every day for pictures just for me. It is nice when they do. And, sometimes I close my eyes. Or, I just press the shutter and hope for the best. Yeah, scientific. There are days when you press that camera shutter and you have no idea what will come in the edits. Yes, I’m laughing too. I will never admit it. Skill! But, I’m thinking horseshoes. Close! It’s enough. Oh! The green bug(?); he got away from the spider. Close call!
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.”
I have two spiders who made webs and a home outside my windows. You would almost miss them. How? They are large! And, I was able to photograph their webs. The webs are nearly invisible. And they are large (too)! There’s not much cute about them. Somehow predators are not very warm and fuzzy. The details are what I could get. Not too good, not too bad. I was pleased to get as much detail in the web as I did. And, if you look closely you can see the thread of web spinning from the spider’s rear.
Every day you take the same photos. Once in a while you take something different. It might be a long time between. It’s worth it. Patience! It’s something I lack. Don’t laugh. If you don’t wander the garden because the same flowers are there same as yesterday…
Yup, done this one before too. No problem. I haven’t done it many times and I don’t think I have done it upside down. Oh! Sure! Yes! Done that too! No matter, it’s still fun and unique. It’s not easy to get the shot. A point and shoot camera has certain disadvantages. Focus on small objects is a problem. But the main advantage is that I had a camera at all when I found this spider asking for his close-up.
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.
The challenge here was in focusing. The camera doesn’t want to do it. It would rather focus upon the background. Yes, I bet you wanted to hear me say it was hard. You don’t care….’cause I got the shot. Ha! Otherwise there’d be no post. We don’t show misses. But to get these, I took a lot of pics that were not good. If I had stopped after shooting one, we would not have anything but a lament.
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.