The spider pictured in the last post is a Giant House Spider (sometimes called European House Spider). I received a very nice reply from the Arachnologist at the University of Washington Burke Museum, with a link to http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/spidermyth/myths/insidewolf.html
. He also told me these spiders are so docile and harmless he uses them for hands on demonstrations for school children.
After posting those pictures and getting a nice facebook comment I dug up a couple pictures I took last Summer at the Duckabush. I was struggling with extender tubes to get pictures of water skimmers (or water striders as they're referred to more often in other places). Nearly impossible. I was using a 50mm lens, with extender tubes which allows for nice macros, but as I mention in the Flickr comments, it is a particular challenge for moving targets. The depth of focus is very narrow, and the autofocus which is not very good on that lens gets much harder to work with.
While trying to get some pictures of the water skimmers, I stumbled across a really big one, and when I got the focus a bit better saw it was actually a spider. I'm hoping to find more of these spiders this year with the macro lens I've been enjoying so much.
This spider is also a lovely critter, and not so intimidating looking as the Giant House Spider, so I'll post them slightly larger here.
I haven't had a chance to take pictures for a few days, which gives me a chance to review old pictures for those I may have overlooked. And as I get practice adjusting exposure and color it becomes easier to get decent images out of those older shots.