Thursday, May 25, 2006
This is an old photo from my Park Ranger days. I took it while sitting under a cabbage palm, waiting out a light rain, on Rattlesnake Island. I had been sent into the island to destroy a group of feral hogs that were shredding the place.The hogs are exotic species and were a threat to nesting seabirds and gopher tortoises.
As I sat beneath the palm fronds, my attention was drawn to movement to my left. A huge wolf spider ( I read somewhere, that we have the largest species of wolf spider here in FL) came tumbling across the sand with a buzzy blur of red and indigo attached to it. A wasp was frantically grappling and stinging the spider.The spider seemed to succumb pretty quickly to the wasp's paralyzing venom, and soon was still.
The wasp would flit up and then back to it's prey, crawling all over it, turning it, and then dragging it. Dragging it seemed to be a problem as the spider was enormous, but the wasp, in it's biorobotic way, kept at it.
After a while, it dragged it into the surrounding brush to some hidden burrow where the spider no doubt served as a meal for a wasp larva.
The rain, which had been falling all through this drama slackened. I brushed the sand from my knees and elbows, then headed into the woods to resume my chore.
(note to phototechnogeeks: Taken on K64 with Minolta SRT-201, normal lens with screw on macro adapters. This photo is a great one to demonstrate depth of field to newbie 'tographers)
Posted by R.Powers at 5:31 AM