Itsy bitsy spider, feeling terrible, and a “H” stories voting reminder

Here’s a quick reminder to — if so inclined — please read the “H” Alphabet Challenge Stories. After, if receptive to the idea, the writers hope you’ll make the effort and vote for your favorite HERE.<<<this is a link

That post has links to the individual stories and the poll where readers can click a box to indicate their appreciation for their favorite. If you have friends (I mean, even I have a few, so I imagine most readers have many, many friends), you can share that link and help expand the readership. I mean, we’re not professional writers, but there’s usually at least one decent story in the bunch.

If you’ve already voted, thank you.

Oh, yeah . . . the writers encourage you to, you know, like, share these stories with friends and families. I mean, only if you agree any of the stories are worth reading, of course. That would be swell, we think.

Anyway, itsy bitsy spider . . . and why I feel terrible . . .

Let me set the stage . . . I open the front door, I open the screen door (actually, glass “screen door”), and I notice what looks like a large fly on the inside glass. Not liking flies in the house, I flick it my index finger, hard.

Mind you, had it been a fly, I’d never even touched it; them things can read minds and avoid anything short of a shotgun blast.

But, this was no fly because I hit it . . . hard. And, it swung out in a semicircle and came right back to the glass. You see, I didn’t have my reading glasses on, and while I can see very well in the distance, inside of 2-3 feet I don’t see things clearly, especially small things.

I put my glasses on and realize this was no fly . . . this was a jumping spider.<<<this is a link

Most people kill spiders. I, on the other hand, realize spiders eat other bothersome insects. I mean, I still don’t want them in the house (the spiders) even as I realize there are probably a number of spiders cohabitating with us.

But, if I see one, I use the official Bug Transport Containers (two red plastic cups) to relocate them outside. Rarely do I kill a spider.

And, this was a jumping spider. They be the cute ones, with lots of (imagined) personality.

I. Felt. Terrible.

You see, I realized I’d hurt it (imagine being flicked by someone thousands of times your size).

See what looks like a clear liquid drop on its front right leg? That’s hemolymph, the equivalent of our blood. 

The spider was hanging by a strand of web still attached to the glass. I ran my finger along the glass to pick up the thread and I moved the spider to the corner of the patio and watched it for a half minute or so until it started moving. Slowly moving.

That’s when I tried taking some photos with my phone as I waited and made sure it was going to be alright (or what passes for alright after being hit hard by a semi-blind human).

These are the best of the Note 8 photos I took as it made its way to a crack from which it reproachfully looked out at me.

Those photos are as terrible as I felt . . . so, I left it for a few moments and went to get a proper camera.

Understand, the Note 8 is pretty good, but this was late-afternoon/early-evening on the East side of the house. Plus, not only was the light poor, but the spider was small.

By the time I got back, the spider had made it to the base of the wall (the first two photos) and had begun climbing it . . . slowly climbing it.

Did I mention I felt terrible? These little suckers rival Speedy Gonzales when they want to move, and here was . . . er — let’s call him Lefty — here was Lefty moving as if he was as old as I feel. Anyway, he begins to climb (her? Gosh, I hope not; I’d feel even worse if I’d hit a girl spider! Sexist, I know; I should be willing to hit women as much as I’m willing to hit men, but that’s not how I’m wired).

A quick note: most of these photos are rotated to present the spider in a more familiar orientation so no one has to turn their screen upsidedown . . . which wouldn’t work anyway unless they have the auto-rotate function switched off.

Now, it had been a while since I’d shot tiny subjects hand-held in poor light with my f/2.8 100mm macro lens only a few inches from them. Basically, the depth-of-field is pretty narrow. Add to that the fact I no longer have a steady hand and tend to sway, and few photos were in sharp focus. I mean, not bad, but not like what you see here.

Huh? That looks pretty good, you say.

Yeah, it’s not bad, but all of these were run through Topaz Labs Sharpen AI. The original of this photo wasn’t too bad to begin with, but still, Sharpen AI improved it, methinks . . .

I’ll show you a worse original later on.

Something else too, as we watch Lefty climb up the wall . . .

Even as I cringe whenever I see Lefty bleeding, I realize something as we go through the photos.

Namely, shooting macros is a bit like riding a bicycle. Meaning, even though you might not have done it in a while, it comes back to you pretty quickly.

Thigs like stilling your breath, bracing your arm and body, and timing the shot at an optimum moment when everything comes into place.

That last photo is perhaps a good example of subtle improvements Sharpen AI can bring to your photo . . . here’s the original . . .

The two photos might look the same, but if you click on each and compare the two, you can see the blur and focus is noticeably improved. Of course, if you’re looking at a phone screen, both will look just fine.

Remember I said I felt terrible? I felt terrible all over again as I processed this photo because I noticed something new . . . the drop of hemolymph in front of Lefty’s leg. It was still bleeding and I could do nothing for it. If I’d known where it wanted to go, I’d have moved it there, but I didn’t . . . plus, having a giant pick you up can’t feel too reassuring.

I mean, I know I wouldn’t be reassured even if I knew the giant’s intentions were benevolent. One false move and I’d be a hamburger patty . . . er . . . humanburger patty.

It was around this time I figured Lefty would find a place to hole up and heal (I really, really, truly want to believe that’s what happened) and decided to stop pointing what must look like the Cannon Of Doom in Lefty’s face. One last photo and I let Lefty be.

As I headed back in, I saw something else on the glass of the screen door . . .

I have no idea what it is, but that mouth . . . has anyone seen the movie Alien?

Well, the mouth of that insect reminded me of this scene . . .

Sleep well . . .

By the way, here’s the insect’s original photo before Sharpen AI . . .

Epilog: I went out later and tried to find Lefty. I don’t know where it went or if it lived. I didn’t find its body anywhere around, so I hope Lefty is out there, hopping along on seven good legs.

As always, you can click on any of the photos for a larger version to open in a new tab or window. Should you want to see the full-size photos, that’s possible if you go to the SmugMug gallery HERE.

Finally, a gallery of the original photos follows.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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