Monday, December 08, 2008

Bali Flashbacks 2007

The largest orb-web building spider in the world. As big as a small dinner plate, the Nephila. This one is probubly the Nephila maculatl, however, I'm not entirely certain. It has smaller but still quite large relitives in Florida. Also called the Golden silk spider, she is a true wonder, females can have a 6 foot wide web and a 1 and a half inch long body. Legspan on some species I've found near the Palau islands gets to about 8 inches. They are not considered dangerous to humans dispite there large size. Locals do not kill them, as they catch insects and are considered part of nature. We could learn allot about pest control by listening to other cultures.
In some places the very strong silk is collected and actually used to make fishing nets. It is strong enough to floss your teeth with and was also used in WWII for very precise bomb sites.

Oxyopidae sp
This spider has a relitive common in the USA. Oxyopes lineatus. This one I happened to find hunting. They do not spin webs but rather hunt like there namesake, the Linx. Useing there very sensitive hairs to detect flying insects and a drop line to escape danger with.

He's waiting for something to come by and he will pounce. Those spiny hairs are very sensitive, capable of 'listening' to sounds probubly from several feet away.

And here is a female of a different species. Just slightly. This Linx is guarding her eggsack. Spiders are usually very good mothers.

This is a male as can be seen by it's palps, in the case they are black. The bulb look of these small legs near the mouth indicates sex in mature spiders. The body size here is about 1cm or so.
This large butterfly was one of only a few shots I got of butterflies in Bali. They move fast so I had to have my SLR set on the right settings and be ready. Catching butterflies in flight is not easy, especially when they are shy. I caought this one with my 300mm lens and an extention tube. A great way to capture shy insects. Extension tubes can be very useful for your SLR. Just one can make for awesome macro shots. Don't forget to click to see larger view. To return to my site use your back <--- (arrow) on the top left hand side of the screen. Another shot of only about 3 butterfly shots that turned out.

There were many dragonflys down there. This one I shot from some distance away with my Cannon digital SLR. It's resting in the sun right now. Dragonflies are fierce hunters, but I saw one taken down in less then a second by army ants. It landed and was covered instantly. Taken apart alive. I need to find that picture, I've never seen anything like that for real. Yes army ants are that fast. I was attacked by them in the jungle while shooting. Before I even knew it I had about 50 of them on my back and neak, legs and all.. biting and stinging. It hurt really bad but luckily I kept my cool and they were not highly toxic. Never jump in water or panic. I used my cloths to swat them dead as quickly as possible and got myself away from the area. They were on me before I even knew I was near a nest.

A scarab beetle. This one sitting on my thumb. I set my aperture low here, like F3 or so. This way only the head is clearly visible. I did not create this effect in photoshop although it is possible to do it that way. I like to keep my pictures as true to reality as possible and do the optical stuff for real. I went to Bali it will be 2 years ago this march. I hope to take my Fiancee
Alina to Guam and Bali someday, but we just don't have the money. Airline benefits are not enough anymore.

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