Bugs at Riverbend

Photo prints now available in my Etsy store!

The jumping spider; the glistening trophy of photographic success. I first discovered super-macro photography from a video by Thomas Shahan something like a year ago… and I, in my attempts to emulate his  amazing macro-photography, accumulated a wealth of unusable macro photos… and after a while, I managed to figure out a system of positioning the external flash gun, focusing with a depth of field of only a few millimetres, and figuring out the exposure at super high magnifications… but I never managed to get any good shots of jumping spiders…

Today, we went to Riverbend Park.  The temperature was great,  the sky was great, the lighting was great… the weather was great for nature photography. About halfway into our 2 and a half hour hike, I spotted a jumping spider on a fallen tree… but by the time I managed to throw together my macro equipment… it had disappeared… so I hunted for it, up and down the tree… and then I found it. The following ten minutes consisted of the spider minding its own business while I haplessly climbed over the tree, crouching over branches, leaning at spine-breaking angles, and shooting 80-odd terrible shots… Until finally, the spider sat still… so I leaned in close… focused the image… and shot maybe 20 more photos.

Of course, jumping spiders were a minority among the gargantuan swarms of insects… butterflies… gnats…  stinkbugs…

…and whatever sort of beetle the above bug is. There were a number of them along the path, all burrowing into the sandy path, and most with smaller bugs on them (my mom & I speculate that these are either larvae or parasites). The above beatle is alive & healthy; I startled it, so it was playing dead for a few minutes, allowing me to take it’s photo… of course, it quickly realized I had no plans to eat it, and so it re-mobilized to run into the bushes.

But, as I noted earlier, my prize for the day was the jumping spider.