Some people get to live in high crime areas

Finding myself in need of some supplies, I ran out tonight (okay, this morning) to the store, leaving my porch light on of course. But I think I’m getting broken of that habit, because the sheila above was waiting for me when I got home. Yeah, right smack alongside my door.

If you haven’t looked close (but of course you have! You didn’t immediately smash your monitor or quickly switch to ICanHasCheezburger or anything,) you may have missed that she is not alone. That’s the whole family on her back. Isn’t that adorable? Lookit all dem widdle cute-ums! You just wanna boop! them all on the nose, don’t you?

The funny thing is, this is the third time this year. A few months ago, I found a female towing her egg sack, and about a week later, one of similar size (I suspected the same one) appeared with her abdomen decked out with babies. But it’s happened twice more since then, too far apart for me to believe it’s the same one – the young should have grown and left her in the intervening time. Yes, I appear to be living in an arachnid megalopolis. Well, I suppose if anyone should, it should be a nature photographer who likes macro work…

While I can certainly get some really closeup shots, making this spider seem more impressive than she really was, I can provide proof of scale – yes, that’s my own forefinger in the pic. Now, there’s a photographers’ trick called “forced perspective,” where a high depth-of-field can be used to make two radically different subjects appear similar in size. I’ve used this to make people appear to stand taller than lighthouses, for example. But here’s the thing: if I had used it here, my finger would have to be a lot closer to the camera than the spider, and thus appear much larger than reality. The spider herself would have been even larger in comparison to my finger. Faced with that thought, the idea that this is an accurate pic is a little better now, isn’t it? And yes, I got that close – most spiders are actually a bit shy, and I had to keep her close with nudges from a stick to get these pics. It gave me the chance to try out a softbox flash diffuser, which worked pretty well actually.

Even so, maybe I’ll leave the porch light off from now on to avoid attracting my neighbors. Then again, it might simply mean I’ll be walking up on them in the dark. Hmmmm…

Comments are closed.