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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Creepy Crawlies, Part 2

I wanted to share some recent images from one of my personal projects. This project is "personal" in the sense that it is another exercise in conquering my own fear, of spiders to be specific (some of you may remember the scorpions from last summer.)

Be warned, these images are not for the faint of heart! I've started off with what I think is a fuzzier, more innocuous looking spider, from a recent trip we made to Boyce Thompson Arboretum. We attended a slide show that day from renown bird and nature photographer EJ Peiker, whose work is absolutely amazing. Armed with inspiration from his lecture that morning, I set out to catalog the fauna of the garden, this spider being one of the better images I got (my birds still need some practice!)

These other two much more frightening black widow spiders are from our very own backyard. They are nocturnal and are quite skittish when they feel the vibrations of someone walking nearby. It took a couple of tries before I could sneak up on these guys (gals rather) and get a shot without them slipping away. The first black widow is a juvenile about 1" across from the tips of the legs (notice that the black and red coloring hasn't fully developed yet.)

I used an LED flashlight to help me focus the macro lens in the dark. Am I any less scared of spiders now that I've successfully photographed them--and not been bitten in the process? Not really!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sabering and an Exploding Cake

Dianne's wedding took place in her father's cozy backyard. Her dad is a set designer, and the yard had several great western-themed backdrops, including a miniature Alamo!

Dianne's family introduced us to the "sport" of sabering, taking off the cork and top of a champagne bottle with a sharp knife! (Don't try this at home.)
The best surprise of the day was a bomb-shaped groom's cake. Little did the groom know that when he cut into this cake that it would actually explode!
Cutting the fuse! For instructions on how to make your own "bomb" cake, check out our next email newsletter! (Sign up on the side).

No, these are not all Dianne's kids, but what a cute photo!