National Geographic : 1991 Sep
On Assignment ^4 eople of my generation grow Sing up in postwar Germany didn't have a feeling of being German," says free-lance photogra pher GERD LUDWIG, who was born in a village near Alsfeld. "There was nothing to be proud of. We wanted to be known as Europeans." Covering German reunification on his first assignment for the GEO GRAPHIC was a bittersweet experi ence for Gerd, who now makes his home in New York City. "If it's going to be a unified country again, it will take another generation to work out all the differences," he says. That next generation gets a push (above), as Gerd joins pre schoolers on an outing in Zossen. "I have a three-year-old boy myself. I wanted to test how it feels to have more than one." The urge to travel seized Gerd early; as a teenager he once hitch hiked as far as Istanbul. Two years of university routine left him bored, and Gerd set out again to see the world. While working on a Norwe gian freighter, "I wanted to bring back souvenirs of travel," he says, photo agency. "Why not do for a "but as a dishwasher I didn't have a profession what you like best? I just lot of money, so I started to snap decided, I will be a photographer." pictures." Back home, his portfolio landed him in the best art school in Fulfilling a "childhood ambition Germany. Soon he was working for since about age five" to learn more magazines and was part owner of a about jumping spiders, biologist photographer MARK W. MOFFETT a frequent contributor to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC-traveled the tropics in pursuit of those eight-legged jewels. In Australia with Robert Jackson, the top expert on jumper behavior (left, at right), Mark observes a web-making species that is itself preyed upon by jumpers. This huge female Nephila maculata- the larg est web-weaving spider in the world-can ignore Portiajumpers, but the tiny male she carries on her back is not so lucky. Portiafeed on the males, after traversing the deadly web-a web so strong it has been used in New Guinea to catch birds and fish. The hunting prowess of the Portiajumping spider is a story yet to be told in Mark's on going chronicles of high drama in the lives of small creatures. NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC(ISSN0027-9358) IS PUBLISHEDMONTHLYBYTHE NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY,17THANDM STS. N.W ., WASHINGTON,D. C. 20036.$21.00 A YEAR,$2.65 A COPY. SECOND-CLASS POSTAGEPAIDAT WASHINGTON,D.C., AND ELSEWHERE.POSTMASTER:SENDADDRESSCHANGESTO NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC,P.O. BOX2174, WASHINGTON,D. C. 20013.