Webnesday (7)

On Sunday, as I was looking at some of the wildflowers that are currently growing around the cabin, I found that very few of the panicled asters (Aster lanceolatus) were actually in bloom.  One in particular caught my eye, as there was one open blossom among the dozen or so that were growing on its stalk.  When I looked really closely, I found that a tiny crab spider (family Thomisidae) had positioned itself just outside the actual blossom and just below the shortest petal, lying in wait for an unsuspecting visitor to land on it in hopeful expectation of a quiet nectar or pollen feed.  I made a few hand-held shots, but it was at an awkward height and there was a bit of breeze, so noted its position, returned to the cabin, fetched my trusty tripod, and set up for a serious and more comfortable session.

Crab spider on aster 12209Both the spider and the breeze were quite willing to cooperate, the former moving around into various positions of visual accessibility and the latter abating from time to time, allowing me to increase my depth of field without pushing my sensitivity so high that good resolution would be overly compromised by increased grain and “noise.”

Crab spider on aster 12248Over the better part of the next hour, I immersed myself in respectful study, taking great care to move in ultra-slow motion so as not to cause any more unnatural vibrations to her perch than were unavoidable.  (Click on a photo for a higher-resolution image.)

Crab spider on aster 12196


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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12 Responses to Webnesday (7)

  1. Nice work, Gary! Your patience paid off!

    • krikitarts says:

      I find that my patience increases the more I pay attention to the smaller details. Maybe it’s an excuse to just sit still and not be doing anything strenuous for a while. Whatever, it feels good–so I do it!

  2. Finn says:

    You got a fine series of images there Gary, the spider was a good find. I really like the framing of the first one and they all three look great in high res. How big were the flower and the spider?

    • krikitarts says:

      The width of the welcoming embrace of the spider can’t have been more than a centimeter and a half. When I get this close, I often wonder what my subject thinks of me!

  3. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    Great shots, especially the middle one.

    I wish I had used a tripod more back in the early days in 2010 before the gardeners re-landscaped the nearly Botanic Gardens. I seem to remember seeing more insects back in those days but only have 3-4 good shots. No insects in my garden that are visible these days.

    Your eye seems to be very tuned in to these little critters.

    • krikitarts says:

      I’m not quite sure when my fascination with the wee folk started, but it was probably when I discovered the magic of extension tubes and reversing rings as a poor person’s macro, way back before I embraced the digital realm in 2000. A tripod is nearly always essential when trying to get real detail, but in bright light, results can be surprisingly good at times! Thanks for letting me know you liked the second one; I love how different viewers prefer different images!

  4. Mike Powell says:

    The detail that you were able to capture, Gary, is amazing. Your patience is commendable–it’s hard not to get frustrated when a breeze kicks in just as you have a shot all set up.

    • krikitarts says:

      In my experience, the breeze usually settles down as I’m setting up for a shot and waits to start up again in earnest just when I’m ready to make it. It’s actually rather uncanny how often this happens. But then again, it’s a good exercise in patience. Which we all can use.

  5. settleandchase says:

    She’s amazing – almost like part of the flower!

    • krikitarts says:

      Yup, that’s the whole idea. It takes a really close look to find them. I went for a walk in the nearby woods just the day before yesterday, concentrating on the asters, and spied four or five more. They’re really worth looking for. Thanks, Cath!

  6. Adrian Lewis says:

    I particularly like the bottom one, Gary – what a monster! Adrian

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks, man–yeah, you wouldn’t want to be the casual hover fly that stops by for a quick snack. I find the details of these little guys endlessly fascinating, but I’m really glad that I’m as big as I am.

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