October 3, 2011

Beautiful Arachnids

I'm feeling exceedingly tired and stressed tonight, so I thought I'd take a break for a minute and dig back into my photos from this summer in Ithaca. There are some really great spider portraits I never got around to posting, and these beauties deserve to be seen.

This is a common variety of orb weaver that Rob and I ran into (almost literally) one night while strolling along a river that runs near Cinemopolis--an independent movie theater in downtown Ithaca.

Around a single large street lamp were clustered dozens of these plump predators, each stoically perched in the center of a beautifully constructed circular web.

We had discovered what must have been considered prime spider real estate. As mosquitos, flies, and moths buzzed frantically around the glowing lamplight, these eight legged denizens of the shadows had only to sit patiently until one, or two, or ten of the hapless insects landed in their silken traps.

Below is another species of orb weaver that is commonly found in Madagascar. And yes, that is a BIRD it's eating...eeek!!!

Now, before you become too disturbed, consider that silk from 1 million of these amazing creatures was extracted by hand (how would you like that job!?) and woven into a spectacular golden tapestry (yes, that is the natural color of their silk) that is now housed at the Museum of Natural History in New York City.

1 comment:

  1. Your fascination with nature and your keen eye are gifts. I might have just avoided the scene but you found beauty.......in spiders. That's my girl!!!!