My experience taking photos of bugs began back in the spring of 2004 when a brood of 17 year cicada larvae emerged from my lawn, climbed the trees (mostly oak), and transformed into adults. I had purchased my first digital camera, a Pentax Optio 650, a few months earlier. That camera was good for taking macro shots of small things. For several evenings after dark I found myself out in the yard figuring out how to use the camera and taking photos of the larvae turning into adults.
Since 2014 I have been using a Ricoh WG-4 camera to take photos of small plants, bugs, anything interesting, in my half acre yard just west of Laurel, MD, and at Centennial Lake near Columbia, MD, during my weekly walks around the lake. In 2018 I decided to make the effort to identify the spiders with the beautiful ‘paint job’ living in the azaleas in my front yard. In that process I found that they are basilica orb weavers (Mecynogea lemniscata), and I also found Bugguide. Since then I have managed to identify several of the subjects in my photos, and have cropped and submitted some of the better ones to Bugguide.
I am a software engineer working for a NASA contractor currently involved in the development and building of Space Geodesy Satellite Laser Ranging (SGSLR) systems that will acquire data used in maintaining the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF).
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