Monday, February 05, 2007

Backyard Safari

I spent a couple of hours tidying up in my courtyard on Saturday morning; trimming the ficus trees, weeding, sweeping up dropped leaves and completely filling my Green Waste bin.

Tiny Mantis

This little guy kept me company for a while, wandering around all over the stool I had been using to try and reach the tops of the ficus trees (with limited success). It was the most beautiful pale translucent green little mantis. At one point he/she was folded in half, nibbling or licking its own tail, something I had never seen one do before.

Leaf Curl Spider

I sometimes think of my courtyard as The Kingdom Of The Spiders because we have so many of the litle buggers. This guy is a Leaf Curl Spider, one of the ones who curl up leaves to make little shelters to hide in. They seem to especially like the leaves of the ficus trees, and while I was trimming the trees I had to be careful of them. Especially because the idea of having one of them on me wasn't that appealling.

I try not to kill anything while I'm gardening, but it's sort of impossible to avoid. Just sweeping up the leaves I know that I'm probably killing lots of tiny creatures. Or at least scaring them half to death. Consequently, I probably look a bit like a crazy person as I garden. Picking my way around tiny creatures, and muttering mantras for beneficial rebirths for all the creatures I'm killing.

Given the massacre I'm making, it's like the least I can do!

[As usual, click the pics to go to Flickr and see larger versions of these photos.]

14 comments:

Tyson said...

Question... is the canon prime you use 50mm before or after the digital sensor crop? My old made-for-film 50mm on the pentax rates at 75mm after the 1.5x multiplier, which I find pretty difficult to use in most settings. I tend to work around the 24mm mark of my 18-50mm lens. What say you?

Pretty photos, btw :)

The Other Andrew said...

Errr, technical!

I just know it's a 50mm F1.8, after that my eyes glaze over. These two shots were actually taken with my old Canon kit lens (28-55mm) with a 4+ multiplier. The F stop reads at F5.6 on the camera but the magnifier gives a really shallow depth of field. Morgan gave me his old set of multipiers, which sadly only fit the kit lens not the 50mm prime.

Thanks, btw!

The Other Andrew said...

Or are they called magnifiers instead of multipliers?... Whatever, you get the idea.

Laubscher said...

(50mm before the crop)

I love mantises. When I was about six years old I spotted one in our kitchen, posing (as they do) on a potted herb. I scooted in really close to look at it, and it allowed it for about a minute before it attacked my face with a vigour that was pretty scary for a six year old.

The cocky little thing wanted to eat my face! I've loved them ever since.

...Sweeping outside must be pretty tricky for a buddhist to do, eh?

The Other Andrew said...

Not tricky if you don't mind looking somebody with echolalia. :) Well, I try to kill as few as I can.

Seriously Laubs, who wouldn't want to snack on that face?!

So. Feeling ick right now?

Laubscher said...

Ick? Nah, flattered. But you should seriously consider getting stronger glasses... :-)

Michael said...

OK, in all seriousness (even though there is a dumb Kleenex commercial about it here), do you feel the same about, say, disinfecting kitchen and bathroom surfaces? I'm not trying to be funny, I'm honestly curious.

Michael Guy said...

Yes, camera talk: good. Yes, not killing things: good. But what is really tweaking my hiney is that I am up here in the oh-so-frigid Midwest with hot tea and two blankies trying to start my day. Try -6 degrees. And don't ask me what it is celsius; I was sick that day in school.

The Other Andrew said...

Michael, I had a massive bathroom clean on the weekend too, and yes - I did get satisfaction from it. It's like exercise, you can dread it when you think about it but afterwards it feels good. Not that you want to do it that often...

MG, brrrr. It's hot and humid here at present - what a friend of mine refers to as "underpants warm".

Michael said...

No, no, I meant do you feel bad about the carnage? Do bacteria "count"? I'm not being glib.

The Other Andrew said...

Oh, I see. The jury is out on bacteria as far as I'm concerned. Meaning, I don't know if they fit the Buddhist criteria of sentience.

I probably killed a few ants and other tiny creatures though. :(

q60sgirl said...

Tis The Kingdom Of The Spiders i gathered that on my last visit hanging out the washed bath towels. They own that washing line and the peg basket:) its cute. It makes you want to sit there and watch and simply be.

Michael said...

Thanks! So there is a definition of sentience as it applies to Buddhism and a Buddhist's interaction with the world? Is it something that's discussed and debated and changeable or some kind of immutable thing passed down?

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

ooooooooooooooohhhh I heart wee preying mantiii (presuming it isn't mantuses). I tried taking a photo of one around Xmas time but my point and clcik just ain't up to it... must get me a triffic camera when I have the $$$, which will be never with The Dinghy in tow ;-)