9.21.2014

Pushing Myself: Photographing Insects

The past few years my appreciation for things that creep and crawl across floors has slowly grown, due mostly in part to my camera. The past month or so I have continued to warm up to the plethora of spiders and unavoidable webs that occupy the new property, many of them larger than I'm used to. In fact, I am often told, "You gotta see this, bring your camera," in response to creatures that once would have sent me running the other way...or at least walking at a brisk pace since running wasn't my thing then.

Last night my bug boundaries got pushed to new limits with the discovery of this mammoth insect ten feet outside the front door:
Oh, my god, Becky, look at that bug. It is so big.

Looking at the picture gives me the total and complete creeps, totally; or at least it did until I researched what it was this morning: Belostomatidae, a.k.a. Giant Water Bug, a.k.a. Toe-Biter. It is a common creature in the northwest, so it is not invasive nor is it poisonous to humans. It bites when provoked, hence the name toe-biter, but this one appeared to play dead, as is their MO when feeling threatened by predators; it soon disappeared after taking the photos.

Considering it preys on small frogs, it makes perfect sense that it was hanging out in the entrance way, a place where frogs have been spotted. And since the giant water bug likes aquatic food it lives in vegetation near water, which there are wetlands not too far from where this guy was discovered. So it all makes sense; he was not out of place but merely making his presence known. Now I can only imagine what else might be lurking around, waiting to make its presence known when I least expect it. Such is rural living; it's good to be back.

In spite of the creeps that insects still give me, they offer fabulous opportunities for photographing, learning, and exercising self-control by pushing my bug boundaries; all the more reasons for me to appreciate the little buggers.  What personal boundaries are you pushing today?

Check out more of my pics @ Flickr.

Got pics of insects? I'd love to see them!
Share a link in the comments.


Thanks for reading.

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