August 16th: a spider

A big one. A garden spider, I think. I regret to inform you this spider is no longer with us.

I took the picture with my phone. My crippling fear prevented me from getting much closer to the subject, though I do wish I had a nice macro. I couldn’t even get a crisp picture from where I was. When I have difficulty focusing on things, I usually put my hand next to the subject and it seems to take up enough of the frame that it cues my camera (or phone) into realizing that it should focus on that. For reasons that should be obvious, I did not want to put my hand very close to this spider; I was afraid to get too close with the phone, for that matter. When I finally got some pictures, I didn’t like the result, but I wanted to preserve some memory of the funky spider and its possibly even funkier web. I tinkered for a while with it until I got this, Golden Olde-Tyme Memories Photo of the Spider to End All Spiders.

It was very beautiful in its own terrible way while it lasted.

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16 thoughts on “August 16th: a spider

  1. Beautifully done! I love the way his z-pattern glows. Orb weaver of some kind.

    Did you see mine? I did manage to get quite close, used my macro setting and full-out zoom, though the terrain (a slope by the river’s edge) kept me from getting too much more adventurous. I didn’t want to go for a swim! (http://wp.me/p28k6D-Ag)

    We really need to get that silly fear of spiders of yours under control, woman. I’ll step out and say they should be much more scared of us…

        • I think every phobia is a non-laughing matter to the person who holds the phobia. For my part I fully realize fear of spiders is for the most part irrational, and for my specific case, I’m not actually afraid of them causing real harm to me so it may be especially silly. But it’s not like they pose no threat. Show me a venomous teddy bear (besides that reanimated strain of zombie teddy bear that the government is trying to hush up) and I’ll really concede your point. 😛

          • LOL Point taken. Though from what I see in school’s, fears of little, insignificant things are often adopted through a parent or other-adult in the child’s life (rather than from a negative exposure of the fear-causer). The poor soul carries it with him throughout his life. I’m not certain I would call that “rational.”

            Just about every kid I come across has a fear of spiders. My job (as a parent and educator) is to turn that fear into respect. This world would be a much different (and insect-creepier) place without them.

            I’m always proud when I see a kid relocate an arachnid outdoors using a cup and card, rather than squishing it thoughtlessly (which is what adults with irrational fears tend to do).

            • No, I understand (and agree with) your point, too. And again, who’s calling it rational? (Most people would, if they’re honest, concede the point that it’s not rational, but that seems to play only a small role in what we’re afraid of. People have a notoriously bad ability to evaluate real threats, hence far more people being afraid of flying than getting in a car despite the fact they’re far more likely to be in a car accident.) Really though, I wish I were more like you and other fearless spider folk, because they are unfairly maligned and they clearly have their role (like anything else) to play in ecosystems.

              Aaaand since we’re on the topic, I don’t know if this was the trigger or anything, but my first real memory of an encounter with a spider was this: I was camping with my family and my older sister was teaching me to play chess. It was a beautiful, idyllic evening down by the lakeside. All of a sudden, I felt something on my leg. For some reason, the fist thing I thought was that a leaf was stuck to my leg. Then the actual shape registered in my brain; it was a large, gray, hairy spider. And then I started screaming, and screaming, and when I was done screaming, I screamed some more….

              • Wow. I’d freak out too. And since you brought up stories (and for purposes of continuing this delightful convo on your delightful blog), the last time I camped, one woke me up from a dead sleep crawling up my arm. I brushed it off, heard a rather base-filled “thud” onto my pillow and then carried rather large visitor (still on the pillow) to the zipper and dumped him outside (so I thought, though I didn’t actually see him drop). I didn’t sleep the rest of the night. And I LIKE spiders. LOL

  2. iPhone-ography isn’t all that bad. I saw a wedding taken with one, as an experiment to compare a professional camera vs. how “everyone” else takes pictures. The same gear, minus camera and lens, were used, and they came out pretty good.

    I’ve never seen a spider like this; his web is pretty neat!!

  3. Forget about the phobia – we all have them of some sort! – I like the picture as a picture and think your phone didn’t do a bad job, and nor did you. OK with different equipment the focus could have been sharper, but look at the texture, colours, tones and lines of the background contrasting with the shape and colour of the spider (which happens to be the point of interest and is very well positioned). Given your circumstances I think its a super image.

  4. My younger brother is a big, strapping, macho Marine, and is terrified of spiders. He’ll be talking in his big, tough, deep voice about something manly, and then a spider will spin down beside him and he’ll squeak and edge away and put his feet up in his chair. Kind of unfortunate, since our house is pretty much covered in spiders all year round.

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