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Posts Tagged ‘webs’

During a recent morning walk at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, I came across some spiderwebs in the fields that glistened in the sunlight thanks to rain the previous night. Many of the webs were only partial webs and I wondered if perhaps the torrential rain had ripped them apart.

Light was mostly coming from the front, which made it a little tricky to get a correct exposure, but that kind of backlighting is the reason why the webs are visible.

The backgrounds were different for the different webs and most of the time I had to deliberately underexpose the images to have the webs “pop,” which meant that the backgrounds looked really dark. I was thrilled when I managed to capture the first image below with a background full of autumn colors.

autumn web

autumn web

autumn web

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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When I arrived at the marsh in the early morning hours, it looked like the spiders had been busy all night preparing decorations for Halloween—there were spider webs everywhere.

The webs seemed to have been more hastily constructed than those of the orbweavers that I have observed recently and there did not appear to be any spiders in the center of these webs. What is the purpose of these webs if the spiders are not there to secure any prey that is caught in the web?

I can’t help but admire the amazing artistry of these fascinating little creatures as I examine the interlocking lines and curves of their incredible creations.

I’ve place these images in a mosaic collage—if you want to see larger versions of the images, just click on any one of them and you’ll move into a slide show mode that lets you scroll through them quickly.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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One of the joys of arriving early at the marsh at this time of the year is having the chance to see spiders’ handiwork, backlit by the rising sun.

web2_blog web3_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Temperatures were forecast to soar yesterday, so I arrived early at the marsh—about 6 o’clock— and was treated to many stunning examples of spider art. The early morning light and the dew made it possible to get these shots.

I had thought that it was a bit early in the season for spiders to be active, but I was thrilled to be proven wrong. I never fail to be impressed by the handiwork of the different kinds of spiders and how they are able to adapt their webs to the environment.

I shot some webs with my macro lens and others with a telephoto zoom. In virtually all cases, I focused manually and used my tripod.

Only a few of the webs had visible spiders and I chose to highlight one of those in the first image, which is a close-up of the web shown in the final shot. The webs themselves are not perfect and have gaps and breaks in some places, an appropriate metaphor for the lives that most of us live.

web3_blogweb1_blogweb4_blogweb2_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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The large yellow-and-black spiders (Argiope aurantia) that I have observed throughout the summer seem to have disappeared. I was hoping to see the egg sacs that they produce in the fall, but I guess I’ll have to wait until next year.

However, there must be spiders still around, because early yesterday morning there were quite a few dew-covered spider webs. Last month I did a couple of postings about webs at the same location at Huntley Meadows Park (see Amazing Spider Webs and More Spider Art), but I am so fascinated by the individuality of the webs that I thought I’d post one from yesterday (and I think there might be a few more shots coming). I do not know how the spiders figure out the designs of the webs, but it seems that there is creativity involved in fitting a web into a specific spot, even if there is a “standard” pattern for different varieties of spiders.

This web was located behind the railing of a little bridge that crosses part of the marsh land and joins two sections of a boardwalk. I was shooting into the sun that was still very low in the sky. The sunlight reflecting on one side of the railing suggests that I was not facing directly east. but was angled a little. Behind the web is a field of cattails, though you can’t really see any details.

Spider webs are like snowflakes for me (and it won’t be too long before we see them again). At first they all may seem to be the same, but when you take the time to look more closely at them, you realize each is unique. People are like that too.

Early morning spider web

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Yesterday morning I was out early with my camera and managed to capture photos of some amazing spider webs at Huntley Meadows Park. There was moisture in the air, so some of them have beautiful droplets of water. All of them, though, are incredible in their geometric complexity, in the skill of the craftsmanship, and in their individuality.

Spiders webs are incredible.

Circular spider web

Spider web between two railings

Spider web with dew

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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