Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Pale green crab spider

with 31 comments

On May 1st, about half an hour before I encountered the fawn you recently saw here, I stopped to photograph a rain-lily flower (Zephyranthes drummondii) that was turning pink as it shriveled away at the end of its inevitably brief life. Once I got close to the flower I found a pale green crab spider on it. A somewhat orange prickly pear cactus flower (Opuntia engelmannii) provided a great backdrop. I don’t recall ever previously photographing this combination of colors.

If you’re interested in the art and craft of photography, points 1, 5, 6 and 7 in About My Techniques apply to this picture.

And here’s a quotation for today: “I find that sometimes when I go into a community that’s not my own, or a community that has a lot of issues attached to it, I have to resist wanting to say something about how I think they could be better, or how I think the government has wronged them.” — Chloé Zhao, 2021 Academy Award winner for best director.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 14, 2021 at 4:35 AM

31 Responses

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  1. I’ve never seen a spider like this, so unusual and beautiful


    May 14, 2021 at 4:38 AM

    • I come across my share of crab spiders here but I don’t remember ever seeing one of this color before.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 14, 2021 at 8:25 AM

  2. Those are indeed interesting colors, and I love the little crab spider. That was a good day for you to experience wildlife!!


    May 14, 2021 at 8:06 AM

    • Yes, several tiny critters (including the syrphid fly you saw here the other day) plus the fawn. Living in the country as you do, you find your share as well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 14, 2021 at 8:29 AM

  3. I cannot help but seeing things in your photos, Steve. This time I see a smiling face in the crab spider. Perhaps it is happy having spotted a meal.

    Peter Klopp

    May 14, 2021 at 8:38 AM

    • Happy pareidolia to you. I’ve also sometimes seen faces on the abdomens of crab spiders. With this one I can even imagine two upraised arms.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 14, 2021 at 8:52 AM

  4. I like the color of that little spider 🙂


    May 14, 2021 at 8:39 AM

    • The color of the spider appealed to me per se and also in this particular pastel combination with the rain-lily and the prickly pear.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 14, 2021 at 8:53 AM

  5. Intriguing photo of the crab spider, Steve, and a species with which I am not familiar.

    Jet Eliot

    May 14, 2021 at 9:07 AM

    • Plenty of crab spiders inhabit nature in Austin, yet over 20 years I don’t recall ever noticing one of this color. Live and learn.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 14, 2021 at 1:54 PM

  6. Stunning image, Steve.

    Jane Lurie

    May 14, 2021 at 9:21 AM

  7. Nice! Loved the quote, too 🙂


    May 14, 2021 at 5:43 PM

  8. This one is adorable.

    Alessandra Chaves

    May 15, 2021 at 7:37 AM

  9. I’m a little surprised to see this one so much in the open. I usually find them tucked into the fluff of a thistle, or lurking inside the bloom of something like a basketflower. I’d have to say that most of them I see are this color: interesting. This certainly is a pretty portrait. I like the pastel colors.


    May 15, 2021 at 8:23 AM

    • I wonder if the spider had been under or inside the rain-lily before I began poking my camera at it. As I moved around for different vantage points, it moved around, too. The pastel color mix is what got to me the most.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 15, 2021 at 1:27 PM

      • I’ve chased a few spiders around stems, and most of the time I give up. However they sense us, they’re good at it.


        May 16, 2021 at 8:19 AM

        • I’ve often found myself chasing a spider around a flower. Sometime I stop and go around to the opposite side, hoping the spider will come to me. Some of the spiders I’ve tried to photograph have ultimately jumped off the flower, but that’s been relatively uncommon and in most cases I’ve eventually gotten a good picture.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 16, 2021 at 8:36 AM

  10. I also find the color combination and the little attached spider delightful, Steve.


    May 15, 2021 at 7:12 PM

  11. This is indeed a very lovely shot and interesting combination of colors! Thanks for the link back to the fawn – going there now.

    Birder's Journey

    May 16, 2021 at 6:57 AM

  12. I see a lot of these little pale green crab spiders here. They are beautiful and delicate.

    Lavinia Ross

    May 17, 2021 at 11:19 AM

    • The green ones seem to be more widespread than I realized. The ones I’ve noticed have generally been a pale brown.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2021 at 6:24 PM

  13. Beautiful find and nicely composed. I love the colors, very soft and as you mentioned an unusual combination. I saw others use the word delicate and I agree, it fits perfectly.

    Todd Henson

    May 26, 2021 at 8:04 AM

    • “Delicate” is fine with me. It’s hard to go wrong with rain-lilies, which remain one of my favorite flowers to photograph, including as recently as a few days ago. The uncommon colors in the portrait as a whole let me get a new take on such a familiar wildflower.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 26, 2021 at 8:09 AM

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