Okay, I must admit it: Over the course of the past week or so, a careful observer might have noticed me crawling around on my belly looking for the plentiful bounty of new spring emergers, although—as I wrote yesterday—I do look up once in a while, too. Well, also yesterday, as I was having a good, close look at the new Siberian bugloss blossoms (the subject of a near-future post, I assure you), a very tiny movement attracted my attention in the immediate vicinity, and upon closer inspection, it turned out to be the first salticid (jumping spider) that I have seen here this year. I’ve been watching the little rock wall attentively for some sign of arachnid activity, but this one was apparently waiting for me to look more closely—and a little closer to ground level. I wasn’t quite prepared for extremely-close work with extension tubes and all, but I did have my camera on the Gorilla-pod and was able to rise enough to the challenge of the moment to get within a foot or so with a fair bit of detail. Please keep in mind that, if this little spider had stretched its legs out to their maximum span, they might have reached a half-centimeter, though I doubt it. The graceful structures that flow from the right edge of the frame up toward the upper-left corner are pine needles. It’s a little too small for me to identify it with certainty, but I’m pretty sure it’s a Platycryptus undatus, or familiar jumping spider, a local favorite!
By the way, faithful followers, please note that—for the next three months or so—I am going to be very preoccupied with a major project, producing a comprehensive photo show for a reunion in July of CD’s family, spanning five generations. I expect close to 200 folks to attend, and I also expect to process more than two thousand photos, many of which need varying amounts of digital tweaking. And, of course, I plan to do my very best to make it a memorable piece of work. As a result, please be advised that, though I intend to keep up with this website with reasonable frequency, my ability to view, like, and comment on the posts of those of you whom I follow may well be severely restricted in the interim. So please have patience, bear with me, and watch for my return, with renewed passion, in late July!