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Posts Tagged ‘spiderweb’

On Monday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge I watched with fascination as this spider (maybe a Marbled Orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus) spider) worked on her web. She seemed to have started with the spokes coming out of the middle and was adding the ribs when I photographed her.

If you look closely in the first image, you can actually see the web material coming out of one of her spinnerets, the organs in which a spider produces the different kinds of silk that make up a web. I tried to figure our her process as I observed her. It looks like she would produce a length of silk, maneuver it into place on one of the spokes with one or more of her legs, affix it in place, and then start the process over again. For the final image, I moved back a little to give you a somewhat better view of more of the web and a sense of its shape.

I have photographed spiderwebs many times before, but this was the first time that I watched one being built. My admiration for the skills and artistry of spiders continues to grow—they are simply amazing.

spider making web

spider making web

spider making web

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

 

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I haven’t seen many big spiders this fall, but I did come across this spiderless web early one morning recently. The morning was damp and foggy and the droplets of water on the web made it easier to spot in the cattails of the marsh. Using manual focusing, which is still a challenge for me with my DSLR, I was able to capture this image of the web. If you click on the image, you can see the beads of water that look like tiny strands of transparent pearls.

web_fall_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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We had a foggy start to one of the weekend mornings and I traveled to my local marshland park with the hope (but no real expectation) of seeing some spider webs. When I arrived at the park, the ground was covered in places with funnel webs, but that was not really what I was looking for.

As I walked along, I suddenly came upon this modestly-sized web. It is not really ornate and is broken in places, but I was thrilled to find it nonetheless. I did not see any spiders, but the web is clear evidence that they are around.

It’s only a matter of time now before I post a shot of a spider!

web2_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I arrived early in the marsh on a cold fall morning when the dew and a touch of frost seemed to have combined to coat objects with a kind of frozen mist. I was hoping to find some large, beautiful spiders shining in the early morning light, as I had found repeatedly during the summer and early fall mornings. My initial scan found no spider webs at all, but suddenly I spotted one in the cattails. It was not large, but its rarity made it extra special. The structure is not very complex or symmetrical and the silk threads seem to be heavy-duty, rather than delicate. I wondered what kind of spider made such a web, but did not spot the maker of the web. Perhaps she’ll continue her handiwork for a little while longer—I’ll be checking each time I return to the marsh.

Last web standing in the fall

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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