Unido: 30.sep.2019 Última actividad: 27.may.2024 iNaturalist Australia

In 2015 after some years of mainly photographing landscapes & the odd animal, insect or plant I decided to photograph every living thing I could see on our small Wildlife Sanctuary & on another larger piece of land on the Comboyne Plateau that we are involved with, also a Wildlife Sanctuary. It has been an amazing journey of learning & discovery. Tiny Jumping Spiders, cryptic Crab Spiders & many other wonderful creatures that had been living right under my nose for many years & had never noticed - until I started looking. Making friends & being asked for data to be included in someone's scientific paper is exciting. It's also exciting to find something rare or something with no photograph of the living creature. It's like being on a treasure hunt though I do like to leave nature as undisturbed as possible & don't tear bark from trees, break open homes or overturn logs or rocks. Spiders are my favourite subject.

During the 2021 floods that caused much devastation along the east coast I discovered that Funnel-web Spiders were resident here. Previously I had seen no sign of them until one night I felt something crawling on my hand which was hanging over the side of the bed, I flicked it away. It was 1am so reaching for the torch I shone it around the floor but could see nothing. Throwing back the bed-covers I sat up & felt a sharp bite on the side of my bum. Looking under the thrown back bedding revealed a large black spider which I immediately captured in a large glass vase. After taking a few photographs it was released. Not feeling any side effects except for a little tightness of the chest which I put down to the excitement of the occasion, I went to sleep believing that it was probably a fairly harmless Trapdoor Spider. A week later after I posted an image on Facebook spider expert Robert Raven identified it as a male Funnel-web. The fang marks were visible for some time. So glad I was awake & felt it before it climbed into the bed with me or it could have been a different story. Funnel-web Spiders eject the poison onto the tips of their fangs before they strike. I think the poison was wiped off on the bedding or it may have been a dry bite.

At first I used Instagram to share my discoveries which was great being part of a like minded community but eventually it became too time consuming & when I discovered iNaturalist all my interest & observations were transferred there. I particularly enjoyed the fact that it is a Citizen Science Project & that people take the time to identify observations. A big thank you to all who have helped in this way.

My daughter, @deeqld, also became interested & has developed into an excellent macro photographer. We enjoy going 'Bugging' together though it doesn't happen much as she lives in SEQLD. Donna always manages to spot interesting finds I miss.

Happy Hunting Everyone,

Julie Newton

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