Friday, June 5, 2009

Golden Silk Spider

It's been raining, raining, raining here in St Petersburg all week; so I haven't had much of a chance to go out shooting. While going back through some of my unprocessed files from last month, I spotted one of my favorite spiders--the Golden Silk Spider.

If you live in Florida, you are very familiar with these spiders. They are huge, but relatively harmless. They won't bite unless picked up or pinched and their bite only stings for a couple seconds. Actually, a bee sting is more painful. The just look scarry because of their size. Their body alone is more than an inch in length not counting the head and those long legs. They are the only spider that spins a golden web stretching from 26-36" in diameter. They're usually spun between two trees or shrubs. Due to web support requirements, they are usually pretty spread out.

In order to show the golden threads of her web (yes, this is the female) I shot this using the Cloudy setting for White Balance. That's roughly about 6,000 Kelvin Degrees F. It also has to be shot with about a 45 - 90 Deg. lighting for it to show up. Fortunately, because of their size and the fact that these spiders need a lot of room for their webs, they're easy to spot in the woods. You don't want to miss spotting one, though, because that web is strong and sticky. YUK! Hunters hate them. That's OK, because I don't like trophy hunters very much, either. It's senseless killing. Shoot them with a camera--no one gets hurt.
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