The bloodcurdling shriek echoed through the office, grabbing everyone’s instant attention. What could possibly have triggered such a terrified cry?
Following the sound of the shriek, we peered into a room and found a young lady standing atop her desk, pointing, with a horrified look on her face. Other ladies in the room stood well back. A fellow from the warehouse next door, first of the manly men on the scene, followed her pointed arm to find the source of the horror.
It was a spider.
Crowded amongst the onlookers outside the door, I never actually saw the fearsome beast, I cannot attest to its gruesome qualities. But the warehouseman did as any hero would do; he grabbed a handy tissue, carefully stalked the lurking beastly horror, scooped it up, and squashed it.
It didn’t hurt that he was a good-looking young dude, looking to score points with the damsel in distress.
I admit, I’ve never quite understood why some folks are so terrified of such a tiny creature.
I mean sure, if you get up real close, and check out the multiple sets of eyes, the spiky legs, and maybe even a little fur they look kind of creepy. But what sort of twisted mental case does that?
And I’ll admit too, they can be kind of sneaky. Who hasn’t walked down a narrow passageway and run face-first into an unseen cobweb? I know I have. I’m sure it amuses onlookers, watching some innocent suddenly stop in their tracks and start flailing their arms in space, looking like a human helicopter trying for an instant take off.
At least I don’t shriek when I do it.
On the other hand, you’d think bees would generate a tad of terror. Talk about bug-eyed furry monsters.
Bees come in a wide variety of species. This big boy was about the size of a fingertip. And secretly, he was a physicist. Somehow, he’d discovered how to violate the laws of physics, getting that big body airborne with what seemed like insufficient wing loading.
Perhaps he went into a drug-induced state to discover an alternate physic, triggered by the various nectars he collected. He certainly had quite a buzz.
The astute among you have no doubt worked out the theme of this post: macro photography of bugs. This can be a tricky endeavor.
These aren’t dead bugs, perpetually posing where they left off life. They’re all quite apt to scurry or fly off, seeking safer ground.
And why wouldn’t they? Consider the perspective of the bug. A being the relative size of a skyscraper walks up, points a steamroller with a culvert attached to it in your face, getting quite close, and gently wobbles back and forth before shooting at you. He may even have a big white movie screen attached to the steamroller and hanging over the culvert, that when he shoots lights up the world with a flash of lightning.
Would you stick around? Me neither.
It’s no simple walk in the park for the guy carrying the culvert either. When you get this close and magnify this much, depth of field (the area front to back that’s in focus) becomes minuscule. This confused mosquito(?) trying to suck blood out of a rose petal shows how little leeway there can be. For some of these shots, such as the opening spider and the fly, I had to take several shots, each with a slightly different section in focus, and combine them afterward. (Focus stacking.) This is best done with a tripod, but I did it the hard way – handheld.
Sometimes you just don’t quite get the shot. But it might just be a bug you’ve never seen before – what are you going to do, delete it?
Other times you might see strange bedfellows.
I’m not sure how safe I’d feel if I were that little beetle.
It helps if you’re not quite as close.
Well, some, at least. There still wasn’t much wiggle room for this moth, and he wasn’t keen on sticking around.
Other bugs seem oblivious.
They’re in their own little world, or maybe they’ll become big enough to not worry about it.
In any case, the world of bugs can be weird and wonderful. Consider this alien.
He was so strange I had to “paint” his portrait.
So with Halloween nearly upon us, I leave you with this parting thought. The bugs are out there. More than you know, more than you notice. Each of them awaits, perhaps with multiple buggy eyes, and spiky legs, and fur you probably don’t want to pet. And when one jumps out from his hiding place, scurrying across your path, what will you do?