Weekend Expedition 72: Leslie Spit with Gil and Catherine

Fall is swiftly turning into winter here in southern Ontario, with cold nights and disappearing leaves…This weekend looked like the last in while to offer any kind of warmish temperatures, so Catherine, Gil Wizen and I headed to Tommy Thompson Park (Leslie Spit) o see if we could find some cool arthropods. The following is a condensed collection of pictures I managed to get. On the way to pick up Gil at the train station,…

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A roundup of recent shots

The spider fieldwork Catherine and I have been doing at Island View Beach progresses slowly. Natural history observations and experiments take up most of our nights, but I have still been getting the opportunity to do some photography and arthropod outings here and there. Here is a sampling of some recent shots that I think you might enjoy. This is Island View Beach, near our fieldwork site. It is a gorgeous beach, and a rare…

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Coelioxys cluster

Last night, Catherine and I were out again all night, performing what was ultimately a futile spider experiment on Cordova Spit (TIXEN in the SENĆOŦEN language). The one thing that did go right was that the dawn had some decent light, so I set out early to try to get some photos of sleeping hymenopterans. I did not end up shooting very many, as I found this absolutely lovely cluster of Coelioxys which were just begging…

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Experimentation with sleeping bees and wasps

This morning Catherine and I tried something different with our spider observations: instead of going out at night, we would get to the beach before dawn, to catch the tail end of spider activity. Turns out, as soon as any light is in the sky, the widows are out of sight, presumably to avoid dawn-foraging birds. So that meant I had a bit of time for some photography! I really wanted to try out the…

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A couple of Sunday outings

As I mentioned in my last post. Catherine and I are working late nights observing black widow behaviour, so I do not really get the opportunity to go out at dawn as much as I normally like to. We have begun to take Friday and Saturday nights off, however, so assuming I can get my sleep schedule quickly reorganized, dawn shoots are possible! This morning, I went out to Mt. Tolmie, in the hopes of…

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A very spidrous summer planned

So this is where I find myself: I am currently employed as a field assistant to my partner Catherine Scott, as she spends the spring and summer of 2016 doing thesis research on Vancouver Island. Over the winter and early spring, I had several interviews for postdoc positions, but ultimately did not get any offers. I am still in the market, as this field gig is not paying much, but this is where my employment situation stands.…

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Cheapskate Tuesday 29: Alligator Lizards with the A720 IS

For this image, I wanted to show the Garry Oak habitat that I found this beautiful Northern Alligator Lizard in, as well as the gorgeous detail of its long body. One of the greatest trends in wildlife and macro photography is so-called “wide angle macro”, or getting close to a subject with a wide lens in order to show both detail of the subject, and some of the surroundings for context. In addition, the exaggerated…

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Hawks at Palos Verdes

Catherine and I are out in California right now, in the midst of a cross-continental journey we are calling #SpiderTrip2016. This trip has taken us down the east-central part of the country to Austin and further south, where we collected some very colourful black widows  for Catherine’s research. Catherine examines a guard rail in southern Texas, where we found black widows in abundance.   Right now we are in L.A., where we have been for…

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