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Englishman in Bandung

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Monday 5 December 2011: Orb spider relocated

First job this morning was to check out the spider location of yesterdays blip. The area was totally leveled and piled up with rakings. Ironically the Richard head left all the refuse bags, simply covering them up a bit. I say ironic because the guy's main job is collecting refuse, I often see him with his cart, collecting the bags that people leave out.

I saw quite a few lizards today, scampering about, carving out new territories for them selves in this new landscape. The density of hoppers in the remaining undergrowth was just silly, but I was in no mood for groveling for hopper shots today. There were a few dragons about, catching the bright early morning sun and I got in close for a session on a brown dragon. I covered this particular species on the 14th October, but this shot was a definite step up and was looking favorite for blip.

As I patrolled the perimeter, right in the furthest, darkest corner, there she was, the orb spider. It has to be the same one, as this is the only time that I have seen this species in two months of scouring the grove. She has been very busy during the night, she has travelled a distance of approximately 40 meters and built a new web. I didn't notice the male, so she probably had him for a quick snack on the journey.

The light was poor as she had her back to the wall, but I did have slightly better access, albeit a bit muddy. The rim light helped a little bit, but I could have done with another stop or two. I took a few flash shots, but they were way too harsh. I will take some tissue tomorrow and see if I can get a more balanced shot.

Blipped is a belly shot, lit by the low morning sun. She looks very impressive, intimidating even, displaying natures warning of yellow and black, but she is perfectly harmless to humans. I read that some of the toxins in her venom has been documented as beneficial, I'll have to read more now, as yesterday I did not think I would be needing the information again.

She was the perfect model, keeping absolutely still while I fiddled about. I just with there was room to get a tripod in there. Don't worry, it is not going to be spider shots every day, but I will be able to visit her and post any updates with the occasional blip.

Dave

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