Small Worlds in the Garden

spideronfinger1My parents always joked that when I was a kid I could usually be found with my butt in the air inspecting some insect or if we were by the sea it would be among the rock pools looking  at the world under the water.

My favorite author during early teen years was a guy called Gerald Durrell who wrote books about his life collecting animals around the world. One called “Bafut Beagles” was a particular favorite.

It is through a digital camera that the passion for small things has found an expression. There is no need to even go out of the yard to find amazing and beautiful things and through the lens of the camera I can go there and feel the delight and wonder again.

It is not a great camera. A Fujifilm S 5800. Not even an entry level for a professional or just borderline for a good amateur camera it is still capable of the most amazing close-ups with a macro and super macro settings and it is wonderful to use.

There is often find some tiny spider wandering around the garden or the house. I can not stand for more than a few moments without being stressed have to learn to frame up the shot and layout on the run. Many of the little tricks to get the right lighting and situation can be achieved simply and without fuss and using cheap substitutes for things like reflectors and ways to hold the depth of a focus when the creature is too small for the camera to focus on.

A few frames are shot on the run and the camera put away. The wonders of digital photography!

Yesterday I found the energy to clean out the camera memory chip and put the images in a file. There was another file of pictures dumped in the same way a few months ago so I sat down and looked through.

There were two hundred close-ups of spiders and spider-hunting wasps including about half a dozen spiders I have not seen before. Delightful hours were passed in a voyeuristic journey into their Lilliputian world. Six months of slowly gathering images from my backyard and garden brought some beautiful images

It is a world of wonder. Huge spiders asleep beneath the covering of a single leaf and bathed in green light. Web-casting spiders, tiny jumping spiders on the leaves of bromeliads. Huge brilliant jet-black and orange wasps and jeweled beetles of orange and glowing blue among the green leaves. I could spend all my time doing this and never know an unhappy moment.

A few of the new images will go to replace the ones on the web site. Some of them were not too good.

The image to the right is a spider barely a mm in size on the end of my finger.

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