The End of September #003

It is still the end of September in my blog world and I have some more photos taken on the grounds of the Butterfly House mentioned in my last post.

This a photograph of a grasshopper.  I know you knew this but I had to say something here.  It’s kind of a long shot showing him in his environment.

 

This is a photograph of the same grasshopper but from a slightly different angle and up close and personal. One of the things I like about close up and macro photography is that the photos reveal things you rarely, if ever, see. Look at the shape of his eye; it’s like a backward uppercase D. Are there other animals with that eye shape?  What’s with those hairs along the back of his neck. See how the front right leg attaches to the body similar to a ball and socket joint, like a car part. The foot at the bottom of the leg looks like the extension on a tripod leg or the heavy duty metal foot to a metal table or bench in a 19th century factory. And look at the neck. It’s as though he’s been fitted with metal plates or leather scored so that the head can be articulated. Looking at it again it looks very similar to the neck guard of some of the helmets of samurai warriors. Sometimes just an individual part is as interesting, for different reasons, as the whole.

 

Not positive this is the same grasshopper but it doesn’t matter; same time and garden. This just gives a pretty good close up view of the whole right side of the body. Spend some time looking at it section by section to see if you see anything that surprises, amazes, puzzles, or just interests you. If you took 10th grade biology in high school you may not have to do this as you may have received enough surprise. amazement, and puzzlement when you had to dissect that giant 6 inch Louisiana grasshopper that still produces a whiff of formaldehyde when you think about it.

 

The grasshopper photos were taken in a garden near the edge of a small lake in front of the Butterfly House. The last photo below of a jumping spider was taken in a dried up garden on the other side of the Butterfly House. A young lady employee was trimming back dead vegetation and called me over to where she was; about 30 feet away. She pointed in front of her feet on the concrete sidewalk we were on and said, “I thought you might be interested in this.”

Maybe I thought, but I didn’t see anything. Then I saw a small movement in what I had thought was some plant debris. It was this jumping spider. I squatted down but my creaking knees, not to mention my groaning as I got my body down, must have scared him off. I’m still surprised it didn’t scare off the young lady. Come to think of it she did say “good luck” and left as I was getting down into position. The chase was on. He was small, smaller than my little finger nail and skinnier. Every time I got close he jumped. I stayed in a squatting position slowing scanning the area so not to scare him with any sudden movement.

My knees were killing me (yes, they are the first to go) and I was afraid I’d tip over in the awkward position I was in. Then I saw him just to my left. Very slowly I put the camera up to my eye while slowly leaning into him and pressed the shutter down halfway to lock focus. Crap! I was too close and he was completely out of focus. I leaned back locked focus again and pressed the shutter. Immediately he did what he was he was born to do. I stood up (not too quickly) and headed for my car so I could go home and have my lunch too. I thanked the young lady on my way out. It’s nice when strangers go out of their way to show you something they think might be of interest to you.

Lesson learned:  When photographing insects, after ending a session and before starting the next, I’m going to try to remember to re-set the aperture to at least f8.  When you come up on a new subject you don’t always get the opportunity for multiple shots or pausing to readjust from the last session.  You can gain some exposure in post processing and you can make it look like a more shallow depth of field, but you can never gain additional depth of field.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog.

David

 

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