A Helping Hand

Over the past week I will admit, I have hardly been out with the camera. A slight change to my weekly routine and experiencing a few days of feeling poorly (not mental health for a change) just threw me off my game.

So this weeks blog will be short and hopefully sweet.

The first picture is that of the smallest spider I have ever snapped. They must of been only 3-4mm long. At first I thought they were a money spider……until I saw a lot of other spiders the same size, coming from the same space. I think they were baby spiders, even smaller than the garden spider babies from earlier in the year.

I have not been able to positively identify them yet, any help would be appreciated.

Crane flies seem to be in abundance at the moment in the garden. They have taken over the lawn and I have even found the odd one around the house. They are quite skittish when you approach them, flying off almost immediately (not very well, they are not the most natural looking flyers)

The one I did manage to snap was resting on a watering can left out in the garden. I struggled for a while to get a decent shot, the way their face protrudes makes it hard to get all their features in focus (if not stacking the shots). The snap provided below is the best I managed to get.

The final two images have a bit of a story to go with them. As I’ve mentioned in numerous other blogs I am currently having the garden renovated. So at present there are lots of tools and kit that have been left outside, including a Hi Vis jacket.

Looking around the garden at the work that has been completed, I noticed on the jacket there was a common drone hover fly. I have to say I did think they were dead, they were very still and in such a strange place. I went to move it and there was the slightest movement from their leg.

I have seen over the summer on other people web pages, demonstrating bee rescues. Where bees had become fatigued from their work and needed an energy boost or they would perish. The advice is to offer them sugar water (as simple as it sounds, its just water and sugar, not honey).

I thought it was worth a try, so off I went to get some sugar water to offer the hover fly. It did take a little while to get the hover fly to take the water solution (I kept reassuring them it wasn’t poison). Eventually they got the idea, and started to drink.

It only took about a minute for the hover fly to start moving around. From not moving at all to then suddenly flying away, it definitely just needed an energy boost.

I felt really happy to have helped, especially as it was such a simple act of offering sugar water. There are times where nature just needs a small helping hand.

I hope the past week has been a good one for you, until next time, take care.

For The Love of Macro.

Another week in lock down completed and my love affair with the macro world is still burning as brightly as it previously had. I never, ever, ever thought I would get excited about snapping spiders, flies, snails etc but here we are.

If someone had said to me a month ago, that I would have a favourite spider, I probably would of laughed, I also would of been very wrong to. The zebra spider (a variety of jumping spider) has very quickly crept up into my affections.

How can a spider be this cute? It has got to be something to do with those big eyes. To me it appears like they are wearing goggles (a steampunk spider?). I actually squealed with delight when I got my first decent shot of one.

They are not the easiest subject to shoot, they move very quickly and unlike some other spiders they just don’t seem to stop at all. Their jerky movements and tremendous jump makes them quite unpredictable, so the fact I have been able to get any pictures makes me very pleased.

I am never one to beam over my own pictures but the jumping spider photographs are some of my favourites I have ever taken. Whether this due to my mood recently becoming quite buoyant, so to my confidence follows? or that the subject matter has become a new passion or it could be all of the above.

I am proud of what I have been able to produce these past couple of weeks and that isn’t really the done thing for me.

I have been extremely lucky this week to be able to access a local woodland for my allotted exercise time, this is the first time I have been out to any decent green space in a month. It was very much needed, I have spoken in past posts regarding the restorative power of nature.

The bluebells are currently out in full display and with the bright sunny weather we have been experiencing lately, the woodland offered plenty of exquisite dappled light.

One of my hopes for after lock down is for people to appreciate their green spaces more. The old saying of “you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone”, I knew I missed my nature walks, but being able to walk around those woods, selfishly, I wished I could be there everyday.

I am not sure when I will be able to get back out there, I am just so grateful for being able to at all.

I really hope you are all keeping well, until next time, take care.