Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Showy dressers

When I pick up a hermit crab on the beach, he's generally a grungy brownish black colour, maybe, if the sun is bright and he's not scrunched too tightly into his shell, showing a spot of blue on a knee, or a hint of orangey-red on an antenna. In everyday light, he matches the muddy sand he lives on. It makes sense out here where blending in is protection against becoming lunch for a sharp-eyed gull.

So I am often startled by the colours of a clean hermit in washed sand, under bright lighting.

Hairy hermit, Pagurus hirsutiusculus, with blue knees and eyes.


Zooming in.

Grainy hand hermit, Pagurus granosimamus, with orangey antennae and brown eyes.


4 comments:

  1. How do you take the pictures of your creatures? Are they in a salt water acquarium? If so, then you have to take the photos through glass....anyway, I'd love to know how you do it.

    I love your site and I love the critters you collect - so fascinating, fun and beautiful.

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  2. Susan,
    Good question!

    My "subjects" are in a saltwater aquarium. I have to do a certain amount of prep each time; scrub the glass inside and out, to remove fresh algae growth and finger marks, adjust the lighting, wait for the water to clear, sometimes turn off the pump. Then I remove the lens filter from the camera to give me a smidgen more clarity, set up two flashes, put the camera on manual, adjust the white balance, and sit down to wait for a chance. For anything like a clear shot, the animals have to be within an inch of the glass, and relatively still. Most of my shots are still trashed.

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  3. Wow!! I had no idea it was that much trouble!! Well - you can know that you have at least one very appreciative reader who loves your pictures and information. I had a fresh water acquarium for years and loved to watch the fish swim around before falling asleep. I had hermit crabs that would trash the place as they dug into the bottom, but they made me laugh. One time I had a newt that kept escaping. One day I was sitting in the living room and noticed out of the corner of my eye a large dust bunny moving slowly across the carpet. It was the newt who had fallen into dust behind the acquarium and then crawled away. I put him back and put the top on more securely. Poor guy - maybe it's just as well I no longer have acquariums, but I used to keep them clean and make sure the pump was the proper strength, etc.

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  4. Thanks, Susan. I'm glad you enjoy my critters. The hermits make us laugh a lot, too.

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