Friday, April 3, 2009


No lions, tigers or tigresses...but here's my shootout for today.

Yes, I spend a fair amount of time on my stomach, pretending that I'm very very small. Sometimes I scare myself.

Then there was Alice.

Alice appeared three years ago in a huge web she constructed between the porch and the tree which has prickly things that are a nuisance in the fall and I keep repressing its name. I first ran into her, literally, one night, flailing her web from my screaming face. But she rebuilt it in the morning and I guess forgiveness is a skill, because I argued for clemency when Karen gave me the broom of ultimate destruction. Sally and I learned to always turn to the right off the porch so we wouldn't find Alice on the bridge of my nose. I watched her for almost two months. I didn't expect her to live so long. I watched her eat (ugh), have babies (which almost convinced me the broom of destruction would have been a good idea) and...I think the above is not actually a baby but foreplay. I guess size doesn't matter for male spiders. One day, I came out and she was hanging listlessly by one leg and an equally large black round spider was moving hungrily up the web toward her. I thought to save her but she looked on her last leg anyway and I thought it might be faster and more natural to let it go. The journalist in me went to get the camera but I got distracted, or maybe I just couldn't bear to watch. Later I went out with the broom to remove the remains. Hanging on the web was the largest silken-wrapped pre-prepared spider meal corpse I had ever seen. Sitting proudly beside it was Alice! Queen of the hang by one leg and pretend I'm dead strategy. A few weeks later when she did go on to spider heaven, she did it by simply disappearing. Morning came, I walked out and even the web was gone except for a few hanging strands of silk. On to photoshoot -

We get these guys in the manmade pond behind our house. I'm careful when walking Sally, but when it's just me, I don't worry much. I'm way too big to be considered food, so they consider me a threat and usually run. Mostly they stay in the water, just floating but this one got hungry enough to cross the spillway and pick up a dead fish on the other side. He's now walking back with it, thinking, "I hate dead fish, but that's all there is. Yucky rotten dead fish. I sure wish that fresh meat with the camera was smaller."
These guys actually scared me more than the gater. Crawling under the bushes near the front porch to get a shot...since this was the best I could do, you can tell I didn't stay too long.

And then there are birds!

These guys gather, for some reason, at the Subdivision Swimming pool. Anyone for a swim?

Cute in the beginning -

Not so cute later, particularly when they run around my backyard leaving goose-feces.

Hummingbird-feces is smaller. I assume. I don't think I've ever found any.

Okay...bye for now...gotta fly.


  1. That was tremendous! Very good photography. Your camera must be as good as the photographer.
    I'll visit again later when I have more time. GordonH

  2. I can see why you choose this weeks subject. Your photos are amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Some really great animal shots my favorite being the second to the last. I love seeing the flight antics of birds. I have not been able to master any skill at micro/macro photograpy.

  4. The odd and kind of frustrating thing is that the two micro shots in the favorites...were taken in 1974 with a fairly cheap SLR film camera and a lens that didn't really fit so I attached it with duct tape to an adapter that did fit and the gap turned it into a close up lens. Now I've got way better equiptment but it may be more about pure luck than anything else.

  5. Oh my gosh B&B!!These are so fantastic that I can't choose.....I just can't choose a favorite. They are all so good. Even Ole creepy Alice looks cool when YOU shoot her, and I'm no arachnid fan. I think I'm going to have to choose those turtles all lined up on the log that's an awesome shot.
    Now, please don't make me choose between you and Bagman. Can't I just have it all?? I mean...really. I wont tell you anything about Bagman and I won't tell Bagman anything about you. By the way, Bagman called me last night after you fell asleep. I thought that was really sweet.Stay off of your stomach's a scary world down there face to face with those insects and I certainly hope you weren't down there to take that great shot of the snake?
    (I'll call you later......seriously dude....)
    Hope you and the Mrs are having a great vacation in beautiful Hilton Head and......

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  6. So you knew what you were doing when you chose this theme, Mark!

    Fantastic photos, my man! I'm in awe of your skill!

    And loved the Alice story!

  7. Looks like there's a nearby forest to do your little escapade lol!

    I love these photos. That is pretty dangerous having a snake there! Now I admire you for going near that snake and taking a photo of it! Looks like he doesn't mind!

    That's sneaky Alice! Just disappearing on you! His color is.. scary. I've never seen a spider like that.

    Those are some really nice photos!

  8. B&B...those are all great pics! Hope you're enjoying the vacation.


  9. Leave it to Butler and Bagman to keep everyone in suspense all week. I am so relieved to find out that you did not have lions and and bears in your back yard. You have normal things in your backyard, except for that big old creepy thing walking around. I have not seen one of those around here.

    I love the spider shot. Both Patty and Dorthea are glad you did not disturb the web.

    The turtles seem to be in their best form for the photographer. The wasps you can keep. And, hey! Isn't that one of Crisfield's seagulls? I think I recognize his face.

    Who swims in your community pool? Zombies. That was Dorthea.

    Anyway, a great shoot out assignment from B&B. All the buz we made over it was well worth the excitement and the end results were fun.

    Have a good trip.

    I will pick up your little red car this afternoon and have it back by tomorrow night.

  10. Your photos are awesome! The spider one creeped me out. I am not a fan of spiders, but loved your story anyways.


    Now I understand why you chose this theme. :D
    Again, great photos!

  11. Great bunch of pictures.

    Interesting solution to the closeup pictures. Need to learn how to use my new one for those. My tries turned out pretty fuzzy.

    How well we remember the 'gators from our days in Hilton Head. It is interesting, and fascinating, to live with a bunch of big critters intent on eating you alive.

    Been delinquent in getting blogging done. Did not get the message so did some wild plants, and a ex-wild fish, instead.

  12. Wow you got plenty of wildlife but I was checking if you have photos for lions, tigers, fox hehehe but I didn't see any of those. I like the last photo, nice one. And it so cute that the spider's name is Alice hahaha. By the way, I did post a photo shoot out today, but I have only 2 LOL and they're wild birds. I hope it's ok than nothing hahaha

  13. Love the snake !!!!! And the turtles :) Those are two of my favorite animals ...

  14. Wow, those are some incredible shots! The turtles are very cute, and the spider was beautiful!

  15. I like your neighbours Bagman - especially do I have a soft spot for Alice. She's a survivor if ever there was one. I actually refuse to believe that she's not living comfortably in another corner of your garden ...
    Good pix mate.
    Are you following my mystery 'Paternity'? I posted the final episode today on Journeys in Creative Writing. It the story about one of our fellow journos, and she has a particularly iffy problem. Let's know what you think?
    June in Oz

  16. Amazing shots, I love the turtles!