Of fierce flora and fauna

You may recall my reporting the spontaneous demise of my almost-2-year-old Pentax Optio W-90 while I was in North Carolina, on a wonderful hike with my brother just a few weeks ago.  Briefly, it refused to turn on for a day, then worked for part of a day, and then didn’t again.  So I sent it in for diagnosis and heard back that it would take $163 to repair it.  A quick online search led me to the delightful knowledge that, for only $30 more, the successor to the W-90 could take its place.  I ordered my new GW-1 while we were in northern Minnesota and it was waiting for me when we returned home the day before yesterday.  There was so much to do after our absence that I didn’t really get to test-drive it until today.  It has been very windy, however, which is a mixed blessing:  On the one hand, it does make the 86° F afternoon more tolerable but, on the other, all the flowers—and the small folk who live on them—are not holding still for more than a second or two at a time before they resume their activity, bobbing around like kids in a swimming pool.  But I am a patient fellow, and I sat down with my tripod and concentrated on some new flowers that CD planted a few weeks ago, some delightful mini-snapdragons (ok, I admit—not really all that fierce, but they are dragons, after all).  It took me the better part of an hour to catch a couple at momentary rest.  The largest of the flowers was barely 3/8 of an inch in its largest dimension.

While I was watching for complete cessation of motion, another speck of movement caught my attention on an adjacent plant.  It turned out to be a tiny jumping spider, smaller than a BB, so I set my sights on this even more difficult subject.  Being as careful as possible not to alarm it with any gross, sudden movements, I eased my way in to within range.  I couldn’t get close enough for the super-macro setting, which will focus to 1 cm, but settled for the regular macro, zooming in at 5x optical magnification.  Focusing was a real challenge until it left the leaf it was on and started to navigate a nearby blade of grass.  I still couldn’t get very close, and there was still some motion thanks to the restless breeze, but I’ll share two shots with you.  I turned one upside-down so its position looks more natural.  I’m not sure about its taxonomy, but it could be a young metaphid (Metaphidippus sp.).  (Whatever its name, surely you’ll grant me a nod that—for a little gnat or aphid or similar creaturelet, this would be a fierce hunter, indeed.

It’s supposed to reach 108° F tomorrow, so it will probably be quite breezy again, but I have high hopes for some fun in the sun if it’s not too bad.  I am so eager for a calm, slightly-drizzly day!


About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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10 Responses to Of fierce flora and fauna

  1. 108 degrees!!!!!! Now that’s hot :). It’s getting pretty warm again here this week too, but the highest will only be about 90. Great shots today by the way. I love how clear and detailed they are!

    • krikitarts says:

      It’s not much cooler now, and it’s supposed to hang around the century mark for the foreseeable future, too. But the mornings are tolerable, and much better for shooting, since as soon as the temp rises, so do the breezes and winds. Thanks for the compliments, Cindy, and I think you’ll really like what I have cooking for the near future.

  2. Wonderful macros! The close-up of the snapdragon is spectacular! And, of course, I love the spider! :-)

    • krikitarts says:

      I love that snapdragon shot, too–thanks, Melanie. As for the spiders, I’ve been hunting the hunters pretty regularly over the past couple of days, and my photo angel has been with me again. Hopefully another new post by tomorrow.

  3. MikeP says:

    Glad to see you are up and running with the new camera. Jumping spiders are a nervous lot aren’t they. Way to go in getting the pic. We won’t talk about the heat here…urrgh!!!

    • krikitarts says:

      Not always as nervous as one might think. I’ve had them jump right onto the camera several times in the past (I did a Silly Saturday post on that fairly recently), and yesterday one jumped onto the leg of my tripod and was headed for my face. What amazing little folk they are!

  4. Finn Holding says:

    Good skills to get the tiny spider with your new camera, it’s not easy catching jumping spiders at the best of times but in high winds and with unfamiliar hardware it’s even more testing. I’m looking forward to the next posting!

  5. krikitarts says:

    I’m getting better and starting earlier, before the sciroccos start to blow again and have been getting better results. I appreciate your anticipation, Finn, and it should be within the next day or two. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  6. Adrian Lewis says:

    Wonderful spider pictures, Gary, absolutely entrancing! Adrian

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