Spider in the Window

I captured this spider (photographically speaking) earlier this evening, as a ray from the setting sun managed to find it’s way through the trees and seek out the web. The zig-zag towards the lower left – I have no idea why the spider does that, but some days there are four of them, one for each pair of legs. Alas, this forgetful photographer hasn’t caught it at the right time on one of those days yet.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Spider in the Window

Spider in the Window (click for larger)

The white blotches are in the foreground – on the outside of the window. I can’t clean it without destroying the web, so I let it be.

Taken with my Nikon 200mm macro lens, and Fuji S5 Pro camera. ISO800, f/11, 1/5s.

The lizard decided to move up to higher ground. I went around another path to find a vantage point. With a tripod now.

The Lizard in the Driveway

My driveway is just off a steep access road. As i drove up the access road, I saw a good-size branch near the foot of my driveway and figured it was probably big enough that I should stop and move it. Then the branch moved by itself. Oh… wow, that’s a big one. I stopped the car and walked up towards the driveway to “scare” the lizard off it; it dutifully scooted up the steep slope next to the driveway and perched on a big rock above my head. Ah, time to get the camera! I dashed into the house and grabbed a camera without changing lenses. The lizard was still on the rock, and I was able to get a few shots of it before it disappeared into the scrub.

On the March

Feeling Crabby?

Well… don’t! Take a look at these soldier crabs, perhaps they will give you a bit of a chuckle, they always do me 🙂 Shot at Careel Bay last September, on (in?) the mudflats. I believe this is mictyris longicarpus. This species of crab is apparently the only one that walks forwards instead of sideways. It is fascinating to watch them marching around in large numbers at low tide (especially through a long lens!). Photographing them is a bit of a challenge, as of course they scatter or disappear into the mud as soon as they notice you coming—my “technique” is to simply walk into the mud near them, then stand or squat still for a lo-ong period and wait for them to wander back… not something you want to do in your Sunday best, as you end up sinking inexorably into the mud… As long as you don’t move, they seem largely oblivious to you, although you can see the one in the fourth shot looking up at me curiously as I stood there with my lens pointed at it.

Another interesting thing about these crabs, which I read when researching them but can’t find now, is that the size distribution is bi-modal—there are two distinct sizes around which they cluster (and it’s not related to sex). After I read this, it was clear to me in the photographs. The larger ones also have more orange legs, it seems.

(By the way, this post is a test of some new image/gallery code, click on any image to display it in a larger size – and let me know what you think of how they display!)

On the March

Soldier Crabs: On the March

Advance Party The Legion Quo Vadis?! Hey! Quit Shovin...

(Shot on my Fuji S5 Pro with a Nikon 300mm f/4 lens, set at around f/8.)

The Magic Minute

Along the Western side of the ridge that forms the Pittwater Peninsula, there are a few minutes at the close of the day when the leaf litter (eucalyptus, angophora, allocasuarina) turns a rich orange–leading to interesting opportunities as a background for macro/flora photography. As a macro (closeup) photographer I think I am less dependent on the light than (say) a landscape photographer, but this opportunity is too good to pass up… and very hard to take!! You have to be quick – there are only a few minutes available, and the orange light patches move while you are setting up the tripod! Never mind finding an interesting subject at just the right time…

So, this is still a work in progress for me – finding the right foreground subject that takes advantage of the ephemeral red-orange background of those few minutes. Here is my effort from earlier this evening. In this case, the background is the bark of a tree (allocasuarina torulosa, I believe), and the foreground subject is… well, it’s a fern…

The light at the "Magic Minute"

The light at the "Magic Minute"

According to the camera timestamp, this photo was taken at 6:56 PM, about ten minutes before the official sunset time for Sydney. I used my 200mm macro lens, set at an aperture of f/5.6.

Scribbly Gum

A photograph taken late this afternoon in McKay Reserve. The tracks are caused–as I understand it–by the larvae of certain insects. The specific tree known as “Scribbly Gum” varies according to which region of Australia you are in, but here it refers to Eucalyptus Haemostoma, a vital component of the Pittwater Spotted Gum Forest ecological community. The cool thing (I think) about this photo is how it shows how the bark peels off showing different colours and sets of tracks in the bark.