The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fall Spiders

It is fall and time to think about getting out and taking some great photos of spiders! Yep, spiders are easy to find and make great subjects this time of year.

When you are up and out early in the morning take a look at the webs on the power lines along the road. The sunlight hitting them full of dew make them sparkle and easy to see. Later in the day it is as if they disappear.

Look out in your own garden early in the morning, when the dew is still there, you will see what appears to be a little hammock cities of webs. I have a few of these on the bushes near the house and many of them stretched between the old stems in the yarrow patch.

Even stepping out of the door can be a haunted mansion experience. One night my son came home from work and said, “Be careful when you go outside in the morning, there is a huge spider web all across the garage door.” The next morning, by the time I went out, the spider was packing in the last bits of that web. It was the type of spider that puts up a new one each night and takes it all in when morning comes.

A spider that you see often this time of year is the Black and Yellow Argiope. The photo on the blog today is of one of these spiders. I took this photo September, 2007. The spiders you see in the web are the females. They are doing all the work – building webs, trapping food, etc. The males travel around from one female’s web to another. They seem to try to play beat the clock this time of year – they are in a race to get the egg sac in place before they die. The egg sac is bulb shaped and the color of a brown paper bag. I have found these sacs in the yard before hanging on the butterfly bushes. These spiders are so easily spotted because of their large web with a zig-zag pattern in the center – plus by now that spider is pretty large! These make good subjects since they are a good size, stay fairly still, and don’t run off when they see you coming.

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