Nature's Place

The Huntress






In the nearby remnant rainforest there is still sign of insect life. In fact it never really goes away, just hides out from our winter’s cold, and other dangers.

So, hiding as they are these days, the obvious thing to do is seek – and ye shall find, seeking? Not this time, this time I found two magnificent members of the Huntsman tribe.

One female and the other male, in similar places on different trees, hiding behind the loosening bark that the gum trees drop every year. Even trees shed the old to be new.

As I carefully removed a section of loose bark she was alarmed at the intrusion. She ran rapidly up and down the piece of bark once and I thought she was going to do a classic and run up my arm, but she quickly found and settled into the only safe and defensible nook available and went statue still. A protected position from where she was only partially visible and could see any approaching danger – me.

But I was no danger to her, I placed the bark down on the leaf litter, careful not to knock it on anything so she wouldn’t be frightened and bolt. Keeping my movements slow and deliberate I got the camera assembled and moved in for the shoot, what was presented.

This is the female Huntsman, Huntress. A magnificent creature, as impressive as any of the massive familiar animals. And beautiful, with streaked silver hair cradling her eight simple black eyes, massive death dealing fangs and armour spiked to secure prey or repel attackers.

God made thing. From the inscrutable formlessness embracing and upholding all things, a Queen in spider form.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look


34 Responses

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  1. Cate said, on 13/07/2015 at 1:31 am

    Spectacular, Mark. She is truly beautiful. How big are these spiders?

    Thanks as always for your sensitivity in photographing your subjects; I like that your desire to capture these lovely images does not blind you to the effect your presence has on them.

    • Mark said, on 13/07/2015 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks Cate. She is … About 5-6″ span toe to toe – body length about 1.25″, maybe – it’s the last thing on my mind when shooting opportunities arise.

      It’s a kind of discipline. I find the pictures I get in the wild are more pleasing to me than the studio shots I see on fora. Some wild creatures lose integrity when captured and posed – the things people do for that, and probably don’t survive long out of their natural habitat.

  2. Alex Jones said, on 12/07/2015 at 7:42 pm

    Beautiful sharp photos, not an animal I would wish to meet if it was my size.

    • Mark said, on 12/07/2015 at 8:27 pm

      Thanks Alex. I think we are still the most dangerous, nature doesn’t know our insanity, can’t prepare for it instinctively or we’d be history.

  3. Jane said, on 11/07/2015 at 6:47 pm

    Brilliant shots! So much detail! What a beautiful creature.

  4. Alexander Lautsyus said, on 11/07/2015 at 12:04 am

    Mark, with that kind of “fur” they can survive any winter cold. :-) Your close up pictures enable a completely different look at these small creatures. Thank you for your interesting and educational projects.

    • Mark said, on 11/07/2015 at 1:16 am

      I’m sure she could survive any Oz winter.

      My pleasure Alexander.

  5. standingoutinmyfield said, on 11/07/2015 at 12:03 am

    So beautiful!

  6. Conny Tummers said, on 10/07/2015 at 9:43 pm

    Love your photo’s! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Victor Rakmil said, on 10/07/2015 at 8:09 pm


  8. omanalabri2013 said, on 10/07/2015 at 7:06 pm

    I liked when you say “God made thing. From the inscrutable formlessness embracing and upholding all things, a Queen in spider FORM.” Lovely sentences.I liked the photos too.

  9. mike585 said, on 10/07/2015 at 6:59 pm

    That’s a beauty!

  10. Sonel said, on 10/07/2015 at 4:55 pm

    Absolutely amazing captures of these beauties Mark! The detail and color are just so perfect! Thanks for sharing. Love it! :D

  11. Jan Schaper said, on 10/07/2015 at 2:06 pm

    A wonderful honoring of Nature’s beauty in your images, words and interaction with the Huntress. Thank you.

  12. Lissa said, on 10/07/2015 at 1:15 pm

    Definitely a Queen. She’s glorious, but I’m very glad I’m not a small insect. Just plain scary then.

    • Mark said, on 10/07/2015 at 4:53 pm

      With a silver crown …

      • Lissa said, on 10/07/2015 at 5:09 pm

        I’ve just noticed in the last couple of photos that she’s sitting on some silk and empty egg cases. Not spider by the looks of them. Huntsmen lay an egg case encased in silk. Perhaps her last meal.

  13. David said, on 10/07/2015 at 1:09 pm

    Really wonderful photos. I love the soft earth tone colors with just enough red to add interest.

  14. photoleaper said, on 10/07/2015 at 11:56 am

    Incredible shot! And yes, she is beautiful.

  15. Deb Yarrow said, on 10/07/2015 at 11:04 am

    Spectacular as always Mark.

    • Mark said, on 10/07/2015 at 11:27 am

      Thanks Deb. Good work there on your site.

  16. The Inspiration Shots said, on 10/07/2015 at 10:42 am


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