People often fear when taking photos around this time of year, that the weather’s not great or the conditions are not quite right. With Macro photogrpahy this is especially true. A light breeze can cause enough blur and fuzz in a picture to ruin it , the rain and cold mean many invertebrates are nowehere to be seen. However, the weather is not always as bad as you think. Yesterday the skies cleared slightly and the drizzly March rain stopped just long enough for me to finally get around to shooting some pictures (I have been waiting a while!). You do not have to go far to take pictures of invertebrates and even living in the city there are lots to be found as they are attracted to many garden plants and envrionments. On this occasion I went into my backgarden in the heart of the City of Plymouth.
The first thing I spotted as soon as I left the house was this Garden-Cross Spider (Araneus Diadematus). These guys are very common in gardens and the adults can be seen throughout the year but most commonly between May and November.
This particular species remained particularly still due to its sheltered position from the wind. I thought I would try using my extension rings and reversed lense for greater magnification. As you can see in the picture below the Spider has caught some prey which is most likely a small fly.
Even when the flowers are not fully out and your garden is in the midst of being re -landscaped , with the right fieldcraft (or back-garden craft if you wish.) and a keen eye you can still find subjects to take pictures of.
These were some of the only flowers in the garden thatI could see so I started looking around the shrubs near them. At first there was nothing but then on closer inspection I spotted this species of Rove Beetle (possibly Philonthus Marginatus). These guys feed on the grubs of flys and other insects in the decaying vegetation.
As I was taking this picture this tiny White Fly landed on the leaf next to him but I didn’t get a chance for a better shot.
On further exploration of the garden I decided to look around an old tree stump that had been cut down and to my suprise I found this Globular Spring Tail. A first for me as I have never seen one before apart from in the BWPA Macro awards book. They look so cool!
Finally I found this Green Orb Weaver Spider setting up his trap. I got the picture then headed in just as the rain was starting again.
I try and do my little bit for wildlife in the UK by adding them to recording schemes such as www.ispotnature.org or putting them in a Facebook group such as Insects of Britain and Northern Europe .Not only do these communities help with identifying creatures you do not recognise but the data adds to scientific records and can help track and monitor populations of species . It’s so easy to do and if you ever have any pictures you should upload them and do your bit to help protect Britain’s wildlife.