Friday, 27 February 2015

Durlston Wasp Spiders and Last Durdle Door Sunset 19th sept 2014

Today I'm going back to Durleston Country Park to find some more Wasp Spiders , it has been drizzling with rain all morning so we haven't been out , but has dried up enough this afternoon , Jan is staying back in the caravan with the dogs while I go on my own.
Arriving after the 30 minute drive i make my way into the meadow to look for the spider i found the other day , but no sign of it.............      so   where to look 

After about 10 minutes i have found one , nicely siting in her web , i take a few phone shots first which show a bit more of the habitat around her.

Now  , to get down in the undergrowth and take a series of frames to focus stack to give larger depth of field.  its a bit wet down here :(

                                                       9 frames @f7 iso200  handheld.

 Phone shot :)

I have now found a couple more , in very difficult positions to photograph unfortunately.  this one is much bigger than the others but i cannot get any decent angle to shoot from , it is up against a bramble thicket.    

     Quite like this angle , shows how Fat she is :D   must be close to laying an egg sac presumably.

I have found another couple but are not in  better positions ,so i have gone back to the first one for a few more shots. The light is almost from behind left, so i am having  to shoot closer to prevent blown out background on the left side. It is really hard shooting sequential frames to focus stack, as the web keeps moving in the slight breeze! 

   I am  really struggling with the low light level , the image stabiliser helps a bit on the 100mm L macro lens , many frames are blurred .  using a tripod would be too difficult to get close enough without hitting the web, and with the breeze probably not much help either as would be using slower shutter speeds.

                                                          12 frames @f7.1  iso200

This is the area i have been finding them in , the bigger stronger stemmed plants being favoured to spin the webs in compared to the shorter floppy grass which is out in the open areas.

     There are loads of these Orb Weavers , huge ones at that :)
      3 frames focus stacked.

                                                                       Yay , another Waspy
                    but impossible to photograph except from this angle , looking straight down on it!

The grass around most of these spiders has been flattened to various amounts, so other photographers must have been shooting them over the last few days.  I don't think there are too many here , i have now searched the hedge row on one side of this field and found nothing except Orb weavers and smaller species.   So back to searching the previous area ,  have now found 8 in total so far and have almost just walked into this ones web stretched across a gap in the brambles!    a good one to shoot from the underside :)             Superb!

                         5 frames focus stacked @f5.6 to give better background seperation.

               I have just found a cracker!    in a great 3/4 position :)  her web is a bit broken though!

                       15 frames focus stacked!    and still missed a few leg tips  Arghhhhhhhhhh

Beautiful back lit Waspy :D     7 frames focus stacked @f7.1  iso 250 as breeze is strengthening.

I have continued looking but no more to be found, and i have filled a memory card with 400 frames , so I'm happy to leave now :)

After dinner  , time to walk back down to the beach for sunset. after half an hour  the light is looking glorious , a misty horizon with soft deep cloud mass over the bay and colour over the cliffs , but it doesn't last very long!   

Its gone flat!   never mind, i have shot some wonderful sunset images this week in Dorset here at Durdle Door. tomorrows forecast is rubbish so this will be the last sunset image.

After dark i have another go at shooting stars , it has come over misty and the yellow floodlights in the caravan park have filled the misty sky ! 

Only one more day left now :(

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