Thanks so much for all the comments and suggestions. I do value your opinions, and the input is very helpful!
Patty - sorry you did not like the photo of momma spider. For your sake, I will not post the photo showing her with her 100's of little ones! By the way, just to be picky, it's not pollen but spores coming from the horsetail. It's a non-flowering plant, something like ferns and such.
Lou - we also have some larger lakes and swifter streams where I don't go wading with the camera out (keep it in the pack inside several plastic bags!), but it sure is nice to have some shallow, slower water where wading is safer.
Kazuya - thanks! You and the spider both like the butterfly, but for different reasons!!
Ronny - thanks for some great input. I had to take about a dozen shots to get the spores photo, and am still not real happy with this one - will try it again next time I'm out at that marsh. Basic method was to prefocus, tap the plant, hit the shutter... Most came out way too blurry!
GW - what have you done to my poor little green flower?? Very cute! See if you can do some genetic engineering to create the real thing! It still probably won't sell in the seed catalogues, since those flowers are less than 1/2" in diameter.
Penolta - thanks for the great comments. I noticed the contrast problem too - need to do more work with the Sigma 105 macro to learn its best shooting "needs."
Glenn - thanks!
Rodney - thanks! That closeup is uncropped - shows what the Sigma Macro can do when it is behaving!