Joe, Who is not a Spider

A couple weeks ago, while out on a field trip with Andi and her students, I met Joe, who is not a spider. Joe is a daddy long legs and looks similar to a spider in that he has eight legs. But his head doesn't articulate, so he is not a spider. This doesn't seem to bother him, and he doesn't talk about it.

So how, you may ask, do I know his name is Joe? Well, he was standing around on a beech tree at Sharon Woods Metro Park when I found him. Beech trees seem to be particularly valued for their carvability, and this one was no exception. So there Joe was, standing on the beech tree, with his body centered over the letter "o" of the name "Joe." I assumed he had just finished carving it and was admiring his handiwork.

After introductions Joe and I had quite a nice conversation while waiting for Andi ("J'attend ma femme.") to take some fungi photos. Joe didn't say much, but we still had quite a conversation. Eventually Joe was talked out and decided to explore the tree, maybe looking for additional carving room.

When he moved to the opposite side of the tree, Joe lined up himself quite well for a portrait, and I obliged him. The result was quite popular on Flickr, and I present it here for your viewing pleasure.

If you happen to visit Sharon Woods and happen to see Joe, please give him my regards.

Textures in Nature

This post is actually meant for another web log, one curated by Dr. Andrea Wolfe, for the classes she teaches at the Ohio State University. I'm writing it here because this seems like a good place to do so. I've been participating in one of Dr. Wolfe's classes, one devoted to teaching photography to biology students. We've been going on weekly field trips to local parks to practice shooting.


I remember an assignment in my high school photography class that the teacher, Mr. Hal Crow, called Shape, Form, and Texture. We were required to submit four photographs, one each showing shape, form, and texture, and one showing all three. For me the first three seemed very straightforward. Not so for the fourth.

On our class field trips everyone else seemed to concentrate on particular kinds of flora or fauna (with some notable and successful exceptions), which is what I would expect from biologists since they know and understand what they're seeing. I, on the other hand, kept noticing textures and soon decided that that would be my emphasis.

When making photos I still think about these elements of design. I still haven't figured out how to show all three in one photograph, at least not in a way that captures my idea of the reasoning behind my high school assignment. But I'm content, for now, to find and shoot one at a time. Here are a few examples.