Weekend Expedition 61: a wintry Island View Beach


Here is a great shot my brother got using his iphone of Catherine posing with a male widow.

This weekend, our last for winter break in Victoria, Catherine, my brother and I headed up to Island View Beach to see what we could see. After the hectic holiday family-related chores (presents and cooking) it was great to get outdoors on a non-rainy day.


First up was a Tegenaria, which like most of the spiders we found was dewy under the frozen boards and logs we turned.


This doesn’t really count as a natural pose, but I was taking advantage of the dawn sky.


Centipedes are much much more cooperative when cold!


I think that winter centipede photography will be my go-to technique from now on.


We actually have no real idea what this spider is… Possibly a gnaphosid, but we did not get a great look at it.


The winter sky at dawn is often quite beautiful, provided there is not an impenetrable cloud bank to the east.


Again, a centipede, looking elegant and not thrashing about wildly!


We found some winter male widows, which are almost always big and black and female-like.


Catherine found an overwintering queen Vespula pensylvanica. She was totally quiescent and could not be woken up for a photo shoot.


More obligatory widow shots! We were quite happy to see the widows doing so well.


Some kind of tiny Lentinellus-like fungi.


This is a recently-metamorphosed ground beetle of sorts. So nice to see these not scurrying around rapidly! The non-black colour is also really helpful for making a good exposure.


This one is definitely a gnaphosid. we saw the prominent spinnerets!


Catherine provokes a penultimate male widow into defensive silk-throwing.


Just after this, he was docile and cooperative for some photos showing his beautiful palps.


On the way out, we saw a number of Golden-crowned Sparrows.


Winter time can be a great time for photography, even of insects and spiders!


5 thoughts on “Weekend Expedition 61: a wintry Island View Beach

  1. Loved all these wonderful pictures. You have changed me into a person who carries out all possible insects and feels badly when one of them does not live through the transfer due to my awkward, terrified handling.

    • Thanks! Insects and spiders are generally a good thing to have around. They are a good reminder that there is a wider world out there beyond our human concerns.

    • Yep. Those are cool in the summertime to, although exposing them correctly with an insect on board is a challenge.

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