Class for 2017: The Spider Enigma

There will not be many chances left in the season to enjoy photographing one of my most favorite of tiny creatures in wildlife. In my home there is a rule: my eight legged friends are not to be harmed! I’ve always recognized the potential danger some species pose, but these happen to just be one of those animals that hold a place in my heart even if for some unknown reason. (It’s probably an understanding of being so small in such a large world.)

Where I teach, we’re already preparing new classes for our upcoming theme beginning in January: insects! I’m not allowed to divulge the particulars of all the fun things we have planned for next year, but I can tell you how excited I am to prepare my own class about spiders.

See, teachers have a rather lengthy list of classes we offer they can chose from. I had my chance to create an entirely new class on any topic I wanted before the fall semester started, I took it, and it’s been so much fun teaching all about Vermont industrialists from the 1800’s as well as getting to talk about our own town’s historical changes. Not to mention, I’ve finally got a grasp on explaining the model replicating Thomas Davenport’s patent 132 – commutator and all.

Now is my second chance to create yet another entirely new class on any topic I wanted, this time with the strong suggestion of keeping it insect themed, before the later part of winter semester, and I will gladly take it!

A lot of the audience will be young, which means they will not have had as much introduction to science, therefore gives me the chance to teach students not only to not be afraid of spiders, but to not squish them! One key focus will be emphasizing just how much larger we are than these little guys who do us the favor of eating much more annoying little guys, which is where these photographs play in: all of these guys ran away from the giant dslr camera approaching them. They may be bloodsuckers, but they mean us no harm, and simply want to coexist with us.

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I’ve taken more wonderful photographs of spiders, specifically out in the field, but for this class to really make an impact (or perhaps my sure desire to convey just how adorable and convenient their existence is), these specific photos taken from my deck at home will enable them to completely relate to seeing spiders all the time in those nooks and crannies they call also call home.

Spiders are our friends, and there are so many incredibly amazing facts and curiosities about them they should be given the respect we’d give to our own pets if only because they help keep my deck and porches clear of bugs and insects, my cat and fish most certainly do not!

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