Monday, September 12, 2005

New Photo Up

Posted a new photo to

I spent a few hours at Huntley Meadows park in Alexandria just after sunrise on Sunday morning. I unfortunately didn't see much wildlife. (The story is that the beavers who maintained the dam (which created/preserved the marshland) have moved on due to lack of food in the area. Their old dam has washed away, so the marshland has drained. As a result, 99.9% of the bird life around there has moved on. It's actually really sad. You would think the park service would construct some kind of man-made dam (but keep it natural looking) to allow the marshland to build back up. After all, what's the point of a park based on marshland, if there's no marshland? You got a park with a boardwalk through the grass. Not too exciting. But I digress...).

Anyway...the one bit of interesting nature I saw was a bigass spider who had caught a full sized cicada in it's web. I set up the tripod and spent something more than 2 hours shooting the morning meal. I used every combination of lens, 1.4x teleconverter, and tripod position I could. Obviously, the nice 200mm lens produced the best images. The 200mm with TC the next nicest, crappy 300mm the worst (tho not at all bad). I was pretty surprised with the quality of the crappy 300mm and TC. Not great. Probably not even "very good". But not horrible. Definitely good enough for making small WWW shots. And it's 672mm (35mm equivalent) when you add up the digital crop factor and TC. Pretty long.

As a size reference, this flavor of cicada is about 2.5" (via this page), including wings. Which makes that the biggest spider I've ever seen around here. Ew.