Come into my parlour…

MacroSpider

Cross Spider Araneus diadematus
Also known as European garden spider, Diadem spider, or Cross Orbweaver
Family Araneidae (Orb Weavers)

Description: The Cross Spider or Garden Spider is a very common and well-known orb-weaver spider in Western Europe. Individual spiders can range from light yellow, to orange-brown or dark grey, but all European garden spiders have mottled markings across the back with five or more large white dots forming a cross. Usually, the cross-like markings are quite visible. The mother puts eggs in a small cocoon, which looks more like a little web.

How big are they? Adult females range in length from 6.5 to 20 millimeters, and the males are 5.5 to 13 millimeters long.

Range / Habitat: Introduced in the United States from Western and Northern Europe. The cross spider lives in parts of North America, in a range extending from New England and the Southeast to California and the Northwestern United States and adjacent parts of Canada.

The cross spider is common in a wide range of habitats, including gardens, meadows, woodland clearings and hedgerows. It is commonly encountered next to buildings with exterior lighting. The spiders can be found in lighted stairwells of structures in rural areas.

In the beginning – My 52 photo challenge – week one

Joined a Fun 52 challenge with the first week being this one. %2 Weeks, 52 Photos all different themes. Not sure whether I’ll manage to stick with it and grab a picture a week but definitely going to give it a crack. The first week’s theme is aptly – Beginning.
Thought I’d struggle with this one and had mostly Eggs in my head, then out of the blue I was inspired.

So, without further Ado, I give you – In the beginning.

In the beginning......

The rest of the groups pictures can be found over on Flickr, the bars been set high from the off with some great images.

A strange flower in a garden devoid of flora

Strange Flower

Whilst out in the garden I was surprised to find this. Surprised mostly because our garden is utterly devoid of Flora with the exception of our neighbours Ivy and some weedy grass. No idea what kind of flower it is and never have I seen one like it before. The Stamen are shaped like some sort of Alien Helicopter and the flies seem to like it, as do the gnats. Otherwise it was just there, on it’s own

Recorded for posterity with the Tamron 17-50 F2.8 with a 12mm Kenko Extention tube attached.

A Mini Solar System

A Solar System in your hand

After seeing something similar recently I thought I’d have a go at trying to capture the ignition point of a disposable plastic lighter.
Wasn’t as easy as I thought though.

These were the best of over 100 shots, all taken handheld @ 1/3200, ISO 800 and F2,8

Lighter Sparks

Lighter Sparks

Southwold – Suffolk. A touch of HDR

Southwold Seafront - Suffolk

Dug out an old image and had a play. Whilst I don’t generally ‘do’ HDR, I took this shot bracketed and had 3 RAW files 2 stops apart. Added another 2 for -1 and +1 in lightroom then ran them through Photomatix to see if I could recover the cloudy sky yet still keep some detail in the houses.
Not really sure what else I did to it other than a little cross processing and a vignette but was quite pleased with the result.

Best buddies

Best Buddies

Messing about in the garden over the weekend unearthed a few critters. Ideally I would have had the Kenco’s on, with an off camera flash. Instead I had to go with what I had to hand and use the iPhone. Turned out better than expected. Now, pass the salt please.

Fire Eater

Turkish Night at the Kaan Apartments in Marmaris, June 2012. Bozo the bonkers barman put on a between dancing juggling show, which quickly degenerated int a Health and Safety Free zone with burning serviettes and mouth fulls of (I hope) Vodka or Jack Daniels.

Fire Starter