Hello everyone after a long recess I am back to the blogging. Apologies for that I have been busy making a number of short films and corporate videos as well as visiting my parents in Seattle. Where my missus and I did the whole Twin Peaks experience.
It's been more than 20 years.
For those of you who don't know (I can't believe that I'm saying this) Twin Peaks was a television show that was broadcast in the early nineties created by David Lynch and starring Kyle Maclachlan. It was hugely popular and has recently had a third series filmed which will be broadcast spring next year. It was all film around the town of North Bend on the Snoqualmie River in Washington. We visited all the locations. The Double R diner, The RoadHouse and of course we had to stay at the Great Northern.
But now I am back and have lots of lovely updates for you all. I have been filming a lot of spiders recently. And we are just about ready to release a new sequence about Salticidae jumping spiders.
I decided to make a film about these guys after watching the amazing Portia sequence in The Hunt. So look out for that. And if you have not already please do subscribe to our YouTube channel. Seriously we need the numbers.
I have also been filming Nursery web spiders. These little critters have a very interesting courtship ritual. The males will present their mates with a nuptial gift. A fly or some other insect that they have captured and wrapped in silk. The female will then allow the make to mate with her while she eats that. The interesting thing is that the larger the gift, the longer she will allow him to mate with her. So sometimes the males will bulk up their presents by tearing off one of their own legs and wrapping that up too. On Friday last week I successfully filmed them mating. They were at it for hours. Literally. I was planning on writing this then but the spiders had other ideas.
A gift for his special lady
Lastly I have been asked to go out to Desertas Grande, a tiny desert island off the coast of Maderia and film some critically endangered spiders. On this tiny island virtually no vertebrates have evolved. And so rather uniquely the islands top predator is a gigantic wolf spider called Hogna ingens. The creatures are sadly under threat. An introduced plant is preventing the spiders from breeding and driving them to extinction. Apparently mice have been introduced to the island as well but are not really a problem as spiders just eat them.
Middle of no-where.
The plan to save them is being carried out by The Bristol Zoo gardens and the IUCN. They have already taken a few individuals from the wild for a captive breeding program until the plant can be taken care of. For more information have a look at this press release.
I have been told that this is going to be quite the expedition. There is no water on the island. I we will have to bring that. There is also no power. So I will have to bring that. Also apparently I'll be going to parts of the island that are so remote they are only accessible to conservation biologists. A lifelong dream of mine. All this has been made possible by a very kind donation from Nature Picture Library as well as some help from Mark Bushell of Bristol zoo. So a big thank you to both of them!