Sitting out on the patio this morning having my wake-up coffee when I noticed a small spider had built a web close by. Upon closer inspection I was shaking my head in admiration of what this tiny animal engineer had achieved!
The web was about 2m from the ground and was in between a tree and a post with a distance of at least 2m between the anchor points. How it moved between these anchor points at the same time as spinning a gossamer thread with a tensile strength comparable to steel is a marvel of engineering!
All in the hope of trapping an unwary flying insect for dinner.
To get this image was a challenge in itself, constantly changing light and a breeze moving the web in and out of focus. Added to that was the fact that shooting angle and distance were were restricted.
Finishing my coffee and having a think about it, I came up with the solution of spraying the web with a fine water mist to help it stand out from the background and holding an off-camera flash as high as i could reach and slightly behind from the RH side to try and simulate sunlight.
After a few attempts to get the flash exposure right and waiting for a lull in the breeze, I managed to get one that was mostly in focus. The icing on the cake would have been to have a Golden Orb or John’s Cross spider, so I’ll have to work on my spider wrangling skills!
In the meantime, I hope I have done this little engineering feat justice. And we think we are the smartest species in the universe!?