Tag Archives: spiders

A Burst of Life: Nature Photography


A Burst of Life: Nature Photography – Spiders

dsc_0715-2

I shot this spider and the green bullet looking pouch (pictured below) with babies, over two days before they disappeared from my garden. That was a few days ago. It was a burst of life with small moving creatures on the dull sturdy orchid plant – a typical Queensland nature. The black ant should give you an idea of how tiny these babies were.

I’m not sure if the same spider (above) had all these babies.  I tried to Google it. They (both the large and baby spiders), were on the same orchid. I think the baby spiders were eaten by birds before I went back, on the third day. The delay in posting on this blog was because I had to try to find the name of the spider and see if these babies came from it. I was also watching the Australian Tennis Championships in between the spider investigation. I still don’t have a clue. If anyone knows, please tell me.

dsc_0751

 

dsc_0695-1-2

 

dsc_0722-2

 

dsc_0730-2

 

dsc_0769-1

 

dsc_0690-1

 

dsc_0691-1

 

dsc_0738-1

 

dsc_0727

 

dsc_0701

 

dsc_0705

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dome Camper – Photography


DSC_0924-1

I like spiders and I have posted images of Queensland’s tent spiders here before in Gangster in the Garden and Weaving Art into Web.

I know some of my readers love them too (and some of my readers don’t like spiders at all). Here is a large pregnant Dome Tent spider from my garden.

The Dome Tent spider, (Cyrtophora moluccensis) is the largest spanning the width of a man’s hand. The long body is strongly variable in colour with a broad black to rusty-red stripe for most of the back and bright yellow and white spots along the edges.

DSC_0917

DSC_0920

Tent spiders have modified the circular web into a dome, spiked tent or broad scoop.The Dome Tent spider builds a large dome-shaped web from 30-60cm across with a long tangle of web above the dome and a small tangle below. Funny enough this insect’s ‘home design’ or feature has been copied and commercialised by adventure companies. They build and sell various camping tents that are structured the way the spider builds its web.

DSC_0923

The female hunts from the top of the dome where she lays her eggs in a long bean-like and attempts to fend off the large flesh flies (Sarcophagidae) that parasitise them. From about Rockhampton northward, these spiders form massive colonies as big as houses. See more at Queensland Museum. I saw one colony yesterday where I counted seven spiders all combined their architecture to form a web structure approximately two metres wide by three meters tall. I did not have my phone nor my camera with me to capture the image, unfortunately.

DSC_0921-1

DSC_0917

Here is another kind that was weaving its ‘tent’ across my front door.

DSC_0959

Weaving Art Into Web – Photography


DSC_0938-1

My shot for this week was this tent spider weaving my garden art into its web. Not literally, but strategically so I could have this shot. I have this paper mache mask I bought at the World Festival for Island Cultures in Cheju, Korea in 1998. It was made by Vijoula, a friend who comes from Mauritius. I have lost touch with her, but I keep the mask in my happy place – the garden. If you are out there Vijoula, get in touch.

DSC_0937

The Gangster in the Garden – Photography


DSC_0923

The other day I found this tiny ‘gangster’ running around in my garden. It was all over every plant as I chased and tried to shoot it with my macro lens, but ‘he’ was too fast.

DSC_0932

His colours reflected the light and I fell in-love with him. Twice, when I got closer, he jumped onto the lens. I tried to not squash him by accident. I spotted something on his back when he jumped off the lens. It was a pattern that looked very close to a skull. Look at the picture below, can you spot it too?

DSC_0912

I thought “gangster” was a good name for him. He quickly spun a web in the cherry tree and made it, his home while he waited for his next prey.

The next day, I checked, and the gangster was gone. I just hope the gangster had not become someone’s meal.

 

The Huntsman On Watch – A Short Story


JK.Leahy©-1

The Huntsman On Watch – JK.Leahy© Pictures and Story

Early this evening about 5pm, I was putting away the chickens when I saw a white fluff rolling across the black plastic on the chicken pen at Bellbowrie, Queensland. I had covered the chicken pen with a thick plastic to protect them from the storm. The fluff strangely did not drop to the ground, but instead, it stayed on the plastic.

As I got closer, I’m not sure who was more surprised, me or it – the fluff ball. It was a Huntsman spider, the largest one I had ever seen. It sat firmly at the front, guarding the chicken pen like a watchman. It made a short quick move into position. Its eyes were shiny and I felt, it was watching my every move.

JK.Leahy©-3

I tried to drop a gum leap on it from the back, to scare it away. Who was afraid of a gum leaf? Not a Huntsman.

“With this incredible light, if you ain’t moving, I will shoot you”, I told it. I ran upstairs and grabbed my camera. When I returned, it was in the exact spot, next to the gum leaf. I dared not use a micro lens, things were hairy enough as it was. Besides, I had no intention of being up close or accidentally dropping my camera – in the event Mr Huntsman came for me.

JK.Leahy©-10

I pushed the house key next to the Huntsman cautiously with the yard rake, as spiders are known for their unpredictable moves.

“By the way – I am not giving you my house key”, I said.

It still did not move, but this gave me a good scale for my shot. I had no intention of killing it, I just wanted to put away the chickens and I did not want the chickens to eat the spider. So, after a few shots, I decided to do other things.

JK.Leahy©-6

Half hour later, I returned and the wind had blown off the gum leaf.  The spider was still in the same spot, so I gave the black plastic cover a jerk. And, as quick as the Huntsman appeared, it vanished.

Australian Huntsman spiders belong to the Family Sparassidae (formerly Heteropodidae) and are famed as being the hairy so-called ‘tarantulas’ on house walls that terrify people by scuttling out from behind curtains. – See more at: Australian Museum

JK.Leahy©-11