Sunday, August 24, 2008

August 24, 2008: My world of macro photography in Singapore

When I moved here almost 3 years ago, I had no idea where life would lead. In the US, I had enjoyed building photo-essays of building the Ravenel Bridge and then unbuilding the Grace and Pearman bridges. I also watched the behavior of spiders in our garden.
Here there are no bridges to be built or unbuilt so spiders it was. I have a place near Queensway Secondary School where I visit every weekend. Repeat visits enable me to watch (and discover) behavior.

My routine starts about 7 am with a walk to Queensway Secondary School (20 min) carrying camera, tripod and all the other pieces that I seem to think I'll need but often do not use. I walk along the edge of the forest and just look. Perhaps 80% of the time, there are orb webs. For nocturnal spiders such as Parawixia or Neoscona, they are usually long gone. For others, though, there is a rich landscape of Nephia, Argiope, Argyrodes, Lynx, Miagrammopes and lots of little jumping spiders.

This past Saturday it was raining and here is an interesting photo of an Argiope in her wet web. The photo to the right shows the wet web and the lady of the house just waiting for dinner to be delivered.

imes I'm lucky and find a nocturnal spider not quite aware of the time as here. These little guys are easy to spook. With 8 eyes, they see almost everything. Here, a slight movement by me will trigger a defensive response, typically dropping to the ground and hiding under a leaf. Sometimes they will climb up to a nearby leaf and hide in a very obvious manner.

This Saturday exercise is what I call spider therapy - a way to recover from the fast paced life here. My other therapy is Tanjung Penang therapy - an escape to a small resort where the snorkelling is excellent. More about this later.