Nature's Place

The Hunter

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The same day I found The Huntress I found her male counterpart, in much the same way, by searching the places I would hide during the day if … I were a night hunter.

I took the loosened bark down from the side of the tree and turned it gently but quickly as it came away so whatever might be on the other side became visible and exposed, perhaps triggering a freeze response and not flight or fright. There, sitting stock still, was a huge male Huntsman.

I didn’t know how long I had before he took off so I set to photographing him from the available angles, his back to the tree, where else – not to expose him unnecessarily, it’s a balance of forces applied.

And after a minute or so shooting, just as I took my eye off him to adjust something for no more than a second or two, he was gone, deftly disappearing back into the hideaway that is the debris at the foot of his tall tree.

His tree is about 50 metres from her tree, a world away it seems, but there is no reason to believe they didn’t meet.

Little things have their ways.

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

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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
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