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Tuesday, October 07, 2014


I was mowing the lawn and noticing the way the yard and garden beds just team with life. A lot of it the eight-legged kind that gives me the willies, but lots of insects too. I guess you probably don't get one without the other.

As I tried to photograph bumblebees, I got buzzed by a few of them and I realized that being stung by a bumblebee while leaning in to some basil a dozen or so of them were feasting on was far, far more likely than getting bitten by garden spiders. Garden spiders are big enough, I'm sure their bite would be unpleasant but they just sit there in their zig-zag webs waiting for bugs to come to them. But that's the way it goes with phobias, I'm scared of spiders, not so much of stinging insects. I respect stinging insects, I generally give them more clearance than I was in this instance, but they don't freak me out and my mind doesn't exaggerate their potential threat.

I haven't really studied this sort of photography, and I don't guess I really have the right glass for the job. My 35mm lens is plenty fast, f1.8, so I could get the grasshopper's eyes in focus and have his hind legs starting to blur, so I can isolate a subject up to a point, but an 85mm or maybe a 105mm prime lens would have been even better, get nice and tight on, say, a bumblebee—tighter than I am in these shots and without having to get so close that I disturb them.

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