In the Backyard - Crickets, Spider and Summersweet

While I was dead-heading the daises yesterday, I came across the most beautiful spider!
(I know, beautiful and spider in the same sentence don’t usually go together for most people—me included.  You’ll just have to scroll down and see for yourself.) 
Megan was outside with me and wanted to get a photo of it, but she is frustrated with the macro function on her point and shoot camera.  For subjects smaller than an inch, it just doesn’t do a great job of focusing.  So I had her run in and get my “big camera” because I knew it already had the macro lens attached.  I actually had some trouble, too, because the spider was only about 3/4 inch long and the glossy dark foliage wasn’t providing much contrast to the turquoise spider.   Switching to manual focus, I practiced on some very tiny cricket nymphs, got the focus set for the spider and handed the camera to Megan.  That’s her shot of the orchard orbweaver below. (Insert proud Mama smile here.)
Red-headed Bush Cricket Nymphs:Juvenile cricket - photo by adrienne zwart of adrienneinohio.blogspot.com overhead view Juvenile cricket - photo by adrienne zwart of adrienneinohio.blogspot.com















Orchard Orbweaver (and lunch)
green spider on web with insect carcass - photo by Megan Zwart for adrienneinohio.blogspot.com pink clethra flowering bush - photo by Adrienne Zwart of adrienneinohio.blogspot.com
I am grateful for the bit of rain we have had this week, and I pray for our country’s farmers and for relief for crops with yet a chance of a harvest.  Our partly-shaded backyard is low and next to a creek, so the perennials are surviving.  Pictured above is the Summersweet which is now in bloom in my “rain garden.” (I converted an area of my yard that is nearly always wet to a flowerbed that contains water-loving plants.)  It’s not as showy this dry season as in years past, but I am enjoying the soft pink blossoms amidst the very hot summer days.

Comments

Misty DawnS said…
Yes, that definitely is a beautiful spider, and she did a great job photographing! I love that first photo too!
Pat said…
Nice shots! The spider is a beauty!
Carol said…
I've never liked spiders...but when you spend some time watching them you realize just how industrious they are. I've never seen one like this one.
Snap said…
Wonderful shots! So nice to *see* you!
Claudia said…
The tiny critters are difficult to catch - nice job. I think the clethera, Summer Sweet, looks like its happy in it location. Stay cool.
magiceye said…
Beautiful macros indeed!
Oak in the Seed said…
I am fond of spiders, as long as we agree on personal space. The photo is a glimpse into another world, thanks to your daughter and your big camera! Stunning!
Roan said…
Okay, I was all set to think you were nuts when you mentioned the spider was beautiful, but amazingly, it is.
Love that first macro shot and the bloom is amazing.
DelGal said…
Wow, great photos. I love the "buggy" eyes on the critter in the first picture, almost scary! :)
Judy said…
That is a gorgeous spider!! I don't think I have seen one that colour before!

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