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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Drama Bracketed Among the Spines

I like to use exposure bracketing. My camera is set to shoot up to three frames, .7 EV apart. It's great insurance when hunting moving targets, since often I don't get a second chance to adjust my settings. But sometimes the slight delay between frames captures small unfolding dramas as well.

This fly
balancing on the spine of one of my cacti caught my eye. In the first frame the fly was delicately poised, but by the time the second frame exposed, it had fallen onto a lower spine.

I glanced away from the viewfinder to see the fly fly off a bit clumsily, then noticed this jumping spider (Phidippus sp) just the other side of the plant gnashing its chelicerae at the missed opportunity to crunch fly. These spiders are remarkably aware of their surroundings: the first frame caught this one looking up to where the fly had been just a few second before; the shutter motion alerted it to my presence and so in the second frame it's looking right at me.

On this particular day I told myself I was too busy to shoot anything. But I'm glad I disobeyed. Of the unwitnessed dramas unfolding every hour we can only hope to see what little we can see, but must also cherish what we do see and try to steal away often to see more.

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