Saturday, 19 April 2008

Fun With Spiders

I was born an arachnophobe. Yes, I inherited the gene from my mother who would have an attack of the vapours at the mere mention of the word 'spider'!

I had to overcome this reckless desire to assassinate spiders. I set about making myself learn what I could about them. It took some time and it was far from easy.

Once I became seriously interested in studying invertebrates, I also became rather brave with the digital camera - set on macro! Super macro requires the photographer to get up close and personal with the subject! Sparassidae - Huntsmen, became a photo opportunity rather than monsters bent on causing an immediate bout of apoplexy!

Long gone are the days when a full can of a popular brand household pesticide was applied vigourously to a hapless Huntsman who made a fatal error of judgement by venturing inside. Long gone are the gynmstic exercises with the hose of a vacuum cleaner set on maximum suck! Huntsmen are still not entirely welcome in my home, especially the bedroom, but nowadays they are quietly relocated outside via a large jar and a piece of plastic. (Canon provide an excellent plastic sheet as part of the packaging of their photo paper!)

I really enjoy my interaction with spiders now. My camera has been a godsend to all large arachnids!

I must admit, I've developed a fondness for the Garden Orb (Eriophora biapicata.)

Over a few nights recently, I opted for a bit of night photography.

This Garden orb was a little miffed that I rudely interupted web-building for the night's hunt. I really like the camouflage in this shot.

This one was showing off! There was a bit of a breeze and the spider was swinging back and forth, ergo the slight focus malfunction, but I thought it was pretty cute!

I think this is Holconia sp taking advantage of a mobile fly magnet!

Correction: Probably Isopeda leishmanni

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