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water striders

August 29, 2011

When I made this I thought these insects were called water bugs. That is what I called them as a child growing up in Ohio. I spent hours on the banks of the Grand River in Painesville, Ohio with nothing to do but wander and skinny dip. I imagined these insects storing drops of rain. Storing the splash like a breath of air. Saving raindrops for a sunny day.

After making this video I started to call the insects Water Striders. A more common name. They might also be called…

water bugs, water striders, magic bugs, pond skaters, skaters, skimmers, water scooters, water skaters, water skeeters, water skimmers, water skippers, water spiders, or Jesus bugs.

Recorded north of Toronto up Rt 35 near Little Hawk Lake. This is a country with many lakes at differing altitudes. Between the lakes are waterfalls, rapids, and meandering rivers. The loggers built a log chute between Little Hawk and Big Hawk lakes. This video was shot at the dam before the chute. It serves to collect water bugs and flotsam blown onto the lake from pine trees.

This video is processed to show the incredible movement of bugs and stuff supported by the surface tension of the water. The flow of water draws everything toward the fast moving log chute the bugs ride the current, pop, and relax.

It started to rain.

Gerridae is a family of true bugs in the order Hemiptera, commonly known as water striders, water bugs, magic bugs, pond skaters, skaters, skimmers, water scooters, water skaters, water skeeters, water skimmers, water skippers, water spiders, or Jesus bugs. Personally I like “Jesus Bugs” or “bugs that walk on water”.

Renaud Hallée posted this video which resonated with me and this project.

Below is an example of an unprocessed camera original.

screenings of variations

The opening is the 20th, Thrs. 6-9 Abrazo Interno Gallery 107 Suffolk St. 2nd floor.

From → video

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