Today is the fourth day of spring, and I was blessed with two early-springtime events. The first was obvious as soon as I opened my eyes around 6:15: It was still dark out, but the room was much brighter than one would have expected. A glance outside the window confirmed that, as predicted yesterday, a little more than two inches of snow had fallen during the night. Not only that, but it was perfectly calm, so the fresh snow had remained perched on every available structure, building up to lovely stacks and cornices on each branch of each tree and bush. As soon as it was light enough, around seven, I was dressed and out with my camera and tripod. It remained breezeless and magical for over an hour.
A little later, as I was having my shower, Kristi noticed a small spider on the wall above one of the windows. A salticid (jumping spider) had abseiled from the ceiling right in front of my face yesterday, and this was very probably the same one, though I couldn’t be sure. As soon as I was dressed, I carefully captured her in a slim, glass vase and transported her to the basement, where she would be much more likely to find food, and gently eased her out onto one of the plants that have spent the winter against a far wall below a window and extra lighting. I had considered trying for some portrait shots with the little Pentax, but figured that if she should take refuge relatively deep in the foliage, I’d have better luck with the less-intimate Nikon and its 18-135 zoom lens, helped into the macro range with one of my extension tubes, which hopefully would allow me to get good close-ups with the front element of the lens several inches away. The spider was most cooperative, and began her explorations of her new world very slowly and cautiously, for another good hour, stopping frequently—often for several minutes at a time—and striking and various poses for me. What a wonderful day!