Full House

A range of appetites — lust to dust — happening here. The crab spider has snagged a fly for supper and a pair of blister beetles are busy making baby beetles. Meanwhile, almost out of sight, another beetle minding its own business.

Blister beetles (one of the longhorn beetles) are a staple of our roses. Judging by last summer each rose will soon house at least one.

Mating longhorn beetles with unidentified beetle

Although the beetles didn’t pay me any attention the crab spider was more alert and started to drag her meal off the petal.

Crab spider & fly and longhorn beetles

Crab sider and fly

The spider settled down after a few minutes and hauled her catch back up again.

Full house

Next time you pass a blossom take a second look — who’s living in your flowers?


Blister beetle   Lytta spp. ?
Goldenrod crab spider   Misumena vatia
Prickly wild rose   Rosa acicularis        (Provincial flower of Alberta)

 

In the RAW

Nope. It’s not about me in the nude. It’s all about the camera.

Press the shutter and the image is digitally captured in one of two formats: jpeg (jpg) or RAW.

Jpeg is usually the default mode for most of us and most photos. And it does a good job. RAW is the choice of serious amateurs and professionals. It does a great job.

The downside? RAW is ravenous. It’s a memory pig. Shoot the same scene in both formats and compare. Depending on your settings, your jpeg file may weigh in at 1 or 2 MBs. RAW may gobble up 12 or 15.

So why would I do this? Two reasons.

First — macro envy. I’m fascinated by the detail DSLR cameras capture. But I don’t want to lug all that heavy equipment again.

Second — I currently edit in iPhoto. A better program will let me do much more, if I have the RAW detail to work with.

Here’s a recent example. I shot the first image in RAW and downloaded it to my computer. I cropped it to focus on the fly. Finally I exported it as a jpeg to the blog.

Sound fussy? Only the first time or so. The process is quick and easy.

Who knew I’d ever capture a fly eating pollen? (This is me, fully clothed, with a big grin on my face.)


Wild White Geranium   Geranium richardsonii

Welcome to My Parlour

Poet Mary Howit knew a thing or three about spiders. She would have seen this dew-laden silk and dark doorway for the trap it is.

In 1829 she penned lines that became one of the most quoted warnings about false flattery:

“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly, 
‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy; 

We all know what happened to the fly.

Whose parlour are you sitting in?