It’s unhappy news all around. This weekend was the time of the Big Cleanup, when I go through all the spiderling vials and cull out the sickly and the spiders who did not make it — I don’t if it’s me or just the expected mortality for any species that spews out progeny hundreds at a time, but I’ve only got a 30% survival rate. It was kind of expected, but it still hurts when you’re going through all the babies you nurtured for over a month, and well over half are dead. At least the survivors got bumped up to larger living quarters and get more flies to eat.
Then, going through my adult colony, two of them had died, for no discernable cause. I think they looked up, noticed we’re almost to December in Minnesota, and decided it was totally unnatural for them to live through this, and decided it was time to die. I saw this last year. Midwinter is like the expiration date for these northern spiders.
Then, just to add more misery to the tragedy, my camera is acting up — it refused to take any pictures, told me it had lost communication with my lovely Tokina macro lens, and ordered me to clean the lens contacts. So I did. It didn’t help. I’m going to tinker with some other lenses and see if the problem is in my favorite lens (oh no, I would cry) or the camera body (more crying — there is no good diagnosis here). Maybe this is a sign that it’s time to upgrade to a full frame camera, like the Canon 5D mk IV? No it is not, because I looked at the price and went into shock.
It was also bad because the spiders were hungry and happy with their new clean quarters and I had so many opportunities for good, dynamic action shots, but no go.
OK, I’m just going to go grade papers for a bit, as a kind of gravy for sorrow.