Showing posts from September, 2023

Black Mountain - The Annual Crab Spider-a-thon

Goldenrod crab spider ( Misumena vatia ) All photos by my beautiful wife, Kelli Lewis-Sutherland. My wife and her best friend, Laurel Abernathy have an annual tradition of visiting the Black Mountain segment of the Cumberland Trail yearly in late August or early September so that they can photograph crab spiders. Many years ago they discovered that the swaths of Maryland golden-aster ( Chrysopsis mariana ) growing alongside the trail there are also home to the adorable goldenrod crab spider ( Misumena vatia ). Approximately one in ten of the flowers has a little white or yellow spider hiding and waiting for its next meal. Ghost pipe ( Monotropa uniflora ) We were guaranteed to get our best photos yet, because we now have a Canon EF100mm f/2.8L macro lens and a ring flash. For a little less than a year, we've been experimenting and learning from this combination and have taken lots of pretty decent macros of tiny critters and flowers. We met up with Laurel and her daught