Appreciating Spiders and Such in Panama

motmot panamaOn my second day in Sierra Llorona another guest arrived at the lodge, bringing the total to two. Even with the distraction of another guest, I found the time to sit in a hammock and watch the wildlife, which mostly consisted of birds — toucans, falcons, hummingbirds, vultures, and motmots.

Sergio was an Italian photographer whose only other language was Spanish, which made it difficult to communicate. However, he was friendly and patient, so we conversed using a combination of hand gestures and my rudimentary Spanish. Occasionally, Ida was around to translate between us.

Even though we couldn’t communicate clearly, Sergio taught me a few things in that rainforest. His purpose in Sierra Llorona was to photograph the smallest creatures he could find. He mostly hunted down spiders because they tended to stay in place longer than the native insects.

Spider panamaI was fascinated by Sergio’s camera — the power of the lenses to capture the most minute details was amazing. He zoomed in after taking the pictures to reveal what we couldn’t see without the assistance of a magnifying glass. There was beauty in the details of the spiders that I wouldn’t have ever noticed nor cared to notice.

This little insect is simply called a leaf-footed bug (at least that’s what the biologists in Gamboa told me). There were two varieties that covered one plant outside the lodge.leaf-footed bug panamaThe patience Sergio showed in his art was impressive as well. He could spend a half hour carefully moving branches and leaves to set up his shots. He had a few wires and clamps to help move things around as he waited for the light breezes to settle his subjects. He would occasionally pick up an insect on a leaf or in a specimen box and move it to a brighter area for a better picture. He even scooped up the tail-less whip scorpion from my bathroom to photograph later.

Spider panamaWhile most of the wildlife Sergio found was quite small, he did find this rather large spider carrying its eggs. While attempting to coax it out of its nest, the spider tried to fight off Sergio’s hands.

4 thoughts on “Appreciating Spiders and Such in Panama”

  1. You’re so awesome! I don’t suppose I’ve read something like that before. So great to discover another person with some genuine thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with some originality!

    1. I stayed back and let the professional photographer handle that angry spider. I was close enough to handle the zoom on my camera.

  2. Spiders are fascinating! And you’re right… there is beauty (in the colours especially) that we just can’t see with the naked eye. Also… gotta love the communicating through means other than a common language. It really proves just how creative we can be in order to communicate, even if just via a photo.

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