So I wanted to photograph this red-backed jumping spider (or Johnson Jumper, as some people call it) but I didn’t know how to do it alive. (That photo I took of a fly last month was with a dead fly I found in my windowsill.) So I put the spider in a tupperware container and googled how to kill it in a humane fashion. (Full disclosure: I've never given a shit about spiders. I've smashed hundreds of them in my life without a second thought, and I’ve never even considered placing them somewhere on the "animal rights" spectrum. I simply figured it would be easier to photograph this spider if it was dead.) But while I was googling, a strange thing happened: As I read about euthanizing methods--which involved freezing or formaldehyde or rubbing alcohol--I happened to glance down and spot this little monster staring right back up at me through the transparent lid of his container. I'm not kidding: He had some kind of hinged neck and was physically cranking his face up and pointing the biggest pair of his eight eyes right at me. Now: Was he ACTUALLY watching me? I really have no idea. (And my inclination to think so probably speaks to some kind of emotional problem.) But once we'd made eye contact, I knew I couldn't kill him anymore. (I may be crazy, but this eye contact idea isn't actually so far fetched: I did some research and found out that while many spiders have poor vision--and are barely capable of telling light from dark--the Johnson Jumper actually has good eyes, and hunts down it's prey by sight. In fact, they’re known to eat bugs up to their own size--including other spiders--which means they share my own spider-murdering philosophy.) Anyway: I decided that I couldn't kill him. So I devised a way to photograph him alive--by putting him in a tiny jewelry case. Then when I was done, I set him down on the lawn outside my apartment, chased away some cats who seemed interested in him, then watched him collect himself and take-off. And that was it. And as usual, I have no defense for being as weird as I am.
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Today I heard my Mexicans jumping beans jumping for the first time I'm so
Happy💙they are alive(mexican beans are seed pods that have been inhabited by the larva of a small moth) pretty much a worm is living inside this thing in my hand)