Five days ago I wrote 'one second on the wrong place and your life can be totally different'; fortunately that story will probably have a happy end. Unfortunately this does not count for the portraited butterflies below. Last Monday my garden was full of butterflies when I came back from work and I was very happy to see a lot of freshly emerged Peacock Butterflies (as I did not see this species this year before). Yesterday the majority was gone and very soon I found out who was responsible for this decrease:
It's SPIDER TIME!!!
On the first of January I found her as an egg, in April I fed her as caterpillar and when she transformed into a chrysalis I created a safe place for her in the garden. The day before yesterday she still was a chrysalis in the morning and in the early evening she was a beautiful fresh Purple Hairstreak. I had some shots in mind with her but she repayed me on her way by flying away the next morning. She deserved her freedom but one photo in my pink flower garden would have been nice......ungrateful bitch!
I searched for an other 'vicitim' but only found a lot of beetles. The Asian Ladybird and Leef Beetles are doing very very well in my garden....unfortunately I was not into beetles at that moment....I wanted 'my' butterfly back. Finally I found a nice subject on a pink flower, a Flower Crab Spider. Although I was happy with this little spider, my bad mood did not disappear immediately!
The first butterflies of 2014 have been noticed and photographed yet (not by me) and due to the nice temperatures also other creatures came alive. On the wall around my window I found some ‘hungry’ Zebra jumping spiders (Salticus scenicus). As I caught a bad cold and because I know how difficult it is to photograph these little monsters when they are in action, I hesitated but my desire for a perfect photo was stronger. Again I took the MP-E 65 mm and tried to find them back in my viewfinder. Everybody who is using this lens knows where I’m talking about.
One spider was sitting on the ground and although the sun was shining, with a distance of a few centimetres it was a hide and seek game.
Not the perfect photo I’m dreaming of, but satisfied with my first jumping spider of 2014.
Each year after the summer holiday I have the intention to visit some heather area’s and each year my plans fade away. Again this year.....I wanted to photograph the Small Copper on flowering heather but again I was too late.
I did not find one single Small Copper or any other butterfly, instead I found two resting Bumble-bees on the remaining pink flowers and a few hundred spiders.
The Bumble-bees were resting on and between the upper flowers and the wind rocked them around. Photographing these hairy creatures was more a gymnastic exercise for me as I needed three arms: one to hold the reflector as wind protection, one to focus my lens and one to operate the shutter release. I love it to be out alone but an assistant on demand wouldn’t be bad sometimes!
In the past week a lot of little creatures like butterflies and dragonflies, disappeared. Some of them I find again in spider webs. That’s the circle of life.....eat and be eaten!
The European Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) is the most common and well-known spider. The females are much larger than the males and the females are the web builders. On the web or in a nearby leaf they are waiting for prey to get entangled in the web. The prey is then quickly captured and wrapped in silk before being eaten.
Here a grasshopper jumped into the wrong direction.....as the spider was sitting nearby on a leaf it looks like the grasshopper committed suicide.
The catch on this image was an Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis).....you can see that this beetle used his defensive chemical (yellow/orange stuff) isopropyl methoxy pyrazine. When agitated, they releasing it from their legs.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet thousands of bees in their housings; of course I took my camera with me as it was a long time ago that I looked into a beehive. The bees were very peaceful and busy with their job (collecting nectar and nursing the brood).
But it seemed that the bee housings had more inhabitants. Some spiders are living under the edge of the bee housings and this beauty was disturbed by showing the bees. The spider ran away but stopped on the part which was painted; due to the reflection of the sun the background coloured red.
Canon 7D; tripod; remote release; 180mm, 1/8s at F9 and ISO100
For the bee photos, please visit the new chapter about the Teutoburger Wald (Portfolio -> Teutoburger Wald) and scroll to the second gallery.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.