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ursa_minor
Oct 17, 2006

I'm hella in tents.


Critterquest.
If you live in an area that is even remotely wooded - go outside and just sit in a spot very quietly for 10 minutes and try as hard as you can to detect movement, to hear the slight rustling of leaves - the amount of life you could find in a relatively small radius may surprise you.

I moved to Maryland from California about 7 months ago, and have since not been able to find a single person that I feel I can really relate to - not that they are all bad people, just so different that I spend my weekends and nights alone. Suddenly filling the role of the ultimate loner, I decided to start hiking with my camera - just to take some pictures to send to my friends back home hopefully illustrating how much Maryland sucked.
I've always had very sharp eyes, better than 20/20 - and have what my family calls "crittervision" - to the point where I will swerve my car as to not hit a spider crossing the road. Mix good eyes, no friends, a macro lens, and a humid environment - and well, you've got your first installment of CRITTERQUEST 2008!

Lets get this party started.

First up, the Six Spotted Tiger Beetle! They appear to be cocky little bastards who constantly feel the need to land right in front of you, as if to remind you who's turf it is.


Next up we've got eeeeeeveryone's favorite, the Gold Backed Snipe Fly - now I know there is a thread about one of these fuckers every other week here on GBS, so hopefully this image won't count as a catchphrase.


gently caress yes! A nightmare factory! This is just your run-of-the-mill Wolf Spider with a party crew of fresh yucklings.


The chances of sneaking up on a Dragon Fly like this are slim, so I was lucky to get as many shots of him as I did.


Speaking of nightmare factory, here's a gross little Purseweb Spider hurriedly crawling off to some corner of the forest where he had an appointment to gross someone the gently caress out.


Hey, it's my favorite insect ever! One I thought I'd never see as well - a Giant Ichneumon Wasp. Her body was about 3 inches, and her ovipositor about 5 - bring the totally length of this critter to about 8 inches.


In a stroke of luck, I found this huge Eastern Eyed Click Beetle with a Pseudoscorpion along for the ride. From what I understand, this is actually a symbiotic relationship - with the Pseudoscorpion eating mites off the 1 1/2" long beetle.


But gently caress all these insects - how about some amphibians?

Here's a Leopard Frog, eying my suspiciously.


It breaks my heart to see young toads go bad, so here I am scolding a baby toad for being a poo poo talkin' little fuckface.


This dude was chillin' hard.


Here is an Eastern Hog-Nosed Snake, trying his hardest to look like a Cobra. I wasn't fooled, and picked him up, upon which he immediately played dead - mouth open, tongue out - the works. I took his subtle hint and put him back on the ground, right side up - so he then THREW himself onto his back again and splayed his mouth, proving to me without a shadow of a doubt that he was dead. I laughed at this for a while, and while I was laughing some fat people on mountain bikes went sweating past me. I thought about how ridiculous I must look - a scrubby, tattooed kid standing in the middle of the woods, laughing at a dead snake.
I briefly considered playing dead too.


Wait, back to some bugs:

Here's everyones favorite shithead - a Harvestman.


A young mantis.


A Patent-Leather Beetle with a bit of a mite problem.


A Black Widow spider - something I've actually never seen in the woods before - usually they are on the overhangs of my house or camping out in boxes in my barn.


This little guy was mean muggin' me pretty hard. When I walked up, he was clumsily trying to get off the path, so I just reached down and gently plopped him in the middle of the path.


Toadbuns are loving cute.


Well, I've got tons more - all taken over the course of about 3 days in the same little patch of forest - but I'll refrain from posting them for now.

Post yer critter pics as well, lets saturate this poo poo with peepers and creepers.

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Teeter
Jul 21, 2005

Hey guys! I'm having a good time, what about you?

ursa_minor posted:





Great shots, I love this one in particular. And jesus what the gently caress is up with that wasp thing? I'm not one to hate on bugs but that one does me in.

you have any pictures of the snake playing dead?

Snowmankilla
Dec 6, 2000

True, true

Those are awesome. Good use of your time if you ask me. My lazy rear end just plays video games all day.

Sixty-Proof
Jul 23, 2007


Any chance you have the fucker you plopped in the middle of the trail in a bigger resolution? It's awesome.

I'm going camping this weekend, I'll make sure to have my macro lens on me.

mastapasta
Jun 14, 2008

Om nom nom

I live in a pretty woodsy area, but all i ever see running around are your standard Squirrels, and Chipmunk. Occasionally a fox, but those only come out at night, so I cant get a picture of that.

Captain Foxy
Jun 13, 2007

I love Hitler and Hitler loves me! He's not all bad, Hitler just needs someone to believe in him! Can't you just give Hitler a chance?


Quality Pugamutes now available, APR/APRI/NKC approved breeder. PM for details.

Holy god man, get the gently caress out of Maryland. That big black spider is gonna gently caress you up in your sleep!

To contribute, here's a baby Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) that we found in our backyard after the fires out here. He's apparently learning to fly, and perhaps was raised by humans, since he flew right to my girlfriend and perched on her hand. He's so ridiculously habituated that we're handing him over to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum when he's big enough.

We call him The Dumb Bird.

Atticus_1354
Dec 9, 2006

Don't you go near that dog, you understand? Don't go near him, he's just as dangerous dead as alive.


Book marking this thread to share some of my camping pictures on my other computer. I love doing just this to. Whether it is while camping for a weekend or just a few hour hike.

Kanye East
Jul 7, 2006
Stuck in nothingness

Snowmankilla posted:

Those are awesome. Good use of your time if you ask me. My lazy rear end just plays video games all day.

You mean your lazy FAT rear end.

Awesome pics, please post the others that you have.

Snowmankilla
Dec 6, 2000

True, true

My Momma posted:

You mean your lazy FAT rear end.

Awesome pics, please post the others that you have.

Why must you tease?

Dipes
Oct 24, 2003


Very sweet pictures man.

Slightly Drifting
Oct 27, 2005
You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me.

i love this stuff. what was the setup (camera, lens specs).

captainoblivious
Feb 2, 2005



Those are some high quality pics, nice!

The one of the giant ichneumon wasp has made me really happy, not because I love the things, but because I swear when I was eight years old I saw one at a park and NO ONE believed me when I told them how big it was. So now I know that I wasn't crazy.

Malalol
Apr 4, 2007

I spent $1,000 on my computer but I'm too "poor" to take my dog or any of my animals to the vet for vet care. My neglect caused 1 of my birds to die prematurely! My dog pisses everywhere! I don't care! I'm a piece of shit! Don't believe me? Check my post history in Pet Island!


This is amazing, I love it I live in the city, so...no wandering to the woods for me. Sooo jealous, I'd go critterquesting with you, it sounds like a blast ('specially with the snake!)

Those photos remind me to save up money already and get a macro lens. Also.... new term for baby spiders: yucklings!

Pierat
Mar 29, 2008
ASK ME ABOUT HOW MUCH I LOVE THE BNP


Aww, I could've had some great pics for this.

When I was leaving my neighborhood this morning I saw a vulture in the middle of the road eating a snake. After it saw me it flew across the street into my backyard, so I called my house and told my mom and little brother to come outside and check it out. Right when they did another vulture hopped up form around my house and started fighting the first one for the snake. I really wanted some pics but before I could tell my mom to get my camera some rear end in a top hat drove up and honked his horn at them and scared them off.

CreppyMonkey
Apr 22, 2006

~creppy~



Malalol posted:

Those photos remind me to save up money already and get a macro lens. Also.... new term for baby spiders: yucklings!

Oh thank god, I can dickwave about photo gear outside of CC for once. If you have an Olympus camera, check out the 35mm f/3.5 macro lens. It's only like $200, and it can take some loving nice shots... like, for instance, my ant buddy who was taking a stroll on a raspberry bush.

hass
Aug 10, 2004

by Ozma


ursa_minor posted:

I laughed at this for a while, and while I was laughing some fat people on mountain bikes went sweating past me. I thought about how ridiculous I must look - a scrubby, tattooed kid standing in the middle of the woods, laughing at a dead snake.
I briefly considered playing dead too.
post more with such poetic narrations

Green Team
Apr 30, 2005
Well, what the fuck...buy the ticket, take the ride and let's hope for the best...for your sake.

Your photos are amazing, what kind of gear do you have?

Jack Does Jihad
Jun 18, 2003

Yeah, this is just right. Has a nice feel, too.

Are you using a certain lens or do you just have a badass camera?

ursa_minor
Oct 17, 2006

I'm hella in tents.


Well, here's some more pics - I wasn't sure what sort of reaction I'd get - but apparently so far, so good.

Here's some sort of completely alarming Thin Legged Wolf Spider. He was about 2 inches in diameter.


Here is a handsome little Bluebelly/Fence Swift - Note the small tick in his armpit region.


Here's a Shield-Backed Katydid with a pretty awesome swordlike ovipositor.


Here's a Black Winged Damselfy - these little things are beautiful, the picture does it no justice.


A Venusta Orchard Spider - not a very good picture.


A jumping spider with his grill blinged the gently caress out!


This is a jumping spider I found on a low leaf in the shade, so I pinched off the leaf and carried it into the sun - the whole time he looked over the edge of the leaf like he couldn't believe how high he was:

Then he looked at me like "WHY YOU DO DIS?".


Some sort of massive, spiky caterpillar I found in the middle of the trail, and then relocated to more friendly environs.


A mean little Thrice Banded Crab Spider.


A Grass Spider chillin in a time warp.


An Antlion I rudely extracted from his own personal Sarlacc.


Just a bit of a size reference for the average size of Toad I was coming across.


Next update: Bizarre Fungus.


OH, and camera gear:

I just have a plain ol' Canon Rebel XT and a Canon 100mm macro. I'm not even an amateur photographer, and I barely know how to use my camera, as I haven't had it for very long. I'm by no means a photography geek - but I've been having so much fun doing this, I'm considering actually learning something about it.

ursa_minor fucked around with this message at Jul 2, 2008 around 04:20

TigerMoJo
Mar 11, 2008



I wish I had a macro . Maybe I'll borrow one from work. They're always using my telephoto anyway.

Why are you so mean to the creatures of the forest? Calling them names and such.

Edit: I hate spiders but this is adorable.
Then he looked at me like "WHY YOU DO DIS?".

Love Rat
Jan 15, 2008

I've made a psycho call to the woman I love, I've kicked a dog to death, and now I'm going to pepper spray an acquaintance. Something... I mean, what's happened to me?

Awesome pics. Some of them make me wish there were giant insects I could put in a saddle. Keep them rolling.

ursa_minor
Oct 17, 2006

I'm hella in tents.


TigerMoJo posted:

Why are you so mean to the creatures of the forest? Calling them names and such.

Haha, it's said with love - if I wasn't a complete critter dorko, I wouldn't go out hunting them out every weekend or reading my Audubon field guides until I fall asleep most nights. Plus the idea of a tiny toad baby being a poo poo talkin' fuckface seems funny to me.

CreppyMonkey
Apr 22, 2006

~creppy~



I never see anything multi-legged in my apartment, and five minutes after reading this thread, an awesome spider buddy comes to chill on my balcony door. Of course, it was too dark for the autofocus to work at all, and manual focus is a bitch in the dark...



vvv This particular nightmare spider was in Vancouver.

CreppyMonkey fucked around with this message at Jul 2, 2008 around 08:53

Veitch
Sep 19, 2003

by Fistgrrl


I live in Canada... it's too cold for a lot of those bastards...
This was pretty good so far, but I can't wait for bizarre fungus. You seem to know all their names o.O Let's check out your mycological knowledge.

AsecretK
Dec 10, 2004


I can't wait to see more. I am no bug or spider fan by any means but your pictures make them look fasinating rather than the usual creeped out feeling I get.

sacre
Jan 26, 2007


ursa_minor posted:

This is a jumping spider I found on a low leaf in the shade, so I pinched off the leaf and carried it into the sun - the whole time he looked over the edge of the leaf like he couldn't believe how high he was:

Then he looked at me like "WHY YOU DO DIS?".



I can't even look at pictures of spiders without feeling uncomfortable, but this sequence is just so.. so.. nonthreatening. I love it!

Seizure Sloth
Dec 28, 2006

The electroshock seizure of the sloth consists of weak extension followed by tonic flexion and terminal clonus.


These pictures are all amazing! I can't wait for more.


And almost 12 years or so ago, I came across one of those giant wasps resting on the outside of our apartment building. No one would believe me when I tried to describe the size of the thing. Now I know I'm not the crazy one.

georgelazenby
Apr 14, 2004
georgelazenby

instant five for maryland. where are you?


these are beautiful pictures. do you have any blue skinks? we always have half a dozen hiding under our garbage cans. their tails come off in a hurry.

ATM Machine
Aug 20, 2007

I paid $5 for this

TigerMoJo posted:



Do you have this in a stupidly large resolution, it'd suit my desktop background well Awesome photos too, keep them coming

Code Jockey
Jan 24, 2006
I shoot my gun and Java be dancin'


These are absolutely incredible shots. God I need to buy a macro for my Digital Rebel, there's some cool stuff out in NW Washington I've seen.

Nthman
Nov 3, 2004

Creepy

I saw one of these sitting in my back yard. It was eating my cat but I couldnt stop but to admire his markings and insatiable appetite.

Silver
May 12, 2001

Suzuki lover number one!

This is some good stuff. Love the photo's and narration. Keep them coming.

PREYING MANTITS
Mar 13, 2003

and that's how you get ants.

Hooray for bug shots. Very cool pics OP!

I'll take the time to pimp a few of mine I just took recently, nothing real outlandish, I'm not having the best of luck finding the weirdo bugs right now. Or well, at least ones that want to cooperate and let me get into position.





Ants are such a pain in the rear end to take pictures of.


kidnemo
Jun 12, 2007


Great thread!

I like the descriptions and I think the antlion is my fave.

Warezd Quake
Jan 18, 2008


Can that Giant Ichneumon Wasp sting humans? Post more of that guy if you have them, he looks so awesome. I love Wasps and Ants, they're just so cool. At work I'd get ants on a spoon and put 'em in the freezer and see how long they would stay frozen and be able to thaw and come back to life. Other times I'd just watch them try to pry a fallen comrade who died in a sticky mess of flavour syrup and then get stuck themselves so that another ant tries to come haul off the body.

Nomesayin
Jul 13, 2007

"Measures the shit pressure in the air. You can feel it! Listen Bubs, hear that? Sounds of the whispering winds of shit."

Wow! I'm so pleasantly surprised to find this gem of a thread in GBS. I love insects and especially spiders.

OP, I can't believe how great your sight is, seeing bugs on bugs. That's fantastical! gently caress the half wits in MD and continue your communion with nature. So we can live vicariously through you and your lens, that is!

bigbowlowrong
Dec 15, 2006

by Ozma


Those toadlets are really loving cute. Awesome pictures.

King of the Cows
Jun 1, 2007
If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?

I love threads like this. In which part of Maryland were this photos taken?

EvilJay
Jul 25, 2005


This is a really cool thread, f5'ing for fungus.

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whistlebritches
Sep 5, 2007
Most frantic / Where's the ammo?

Awesome thread! I can't wait for the fungus either.

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