weaving tangled webs

The ornamental bushes in front of our house are lousy with spiders (or should that be “spidery with spiders”?). I haven’t dug out the old insect guide book and tried to classify anything, but based on web weaving behavior, there appear to be at least two species: one that weaves these dense exploded-cotton-ball looking webs that sit on the flat tops of the shrubs, and another that weaves the classic web shape, using the right angle formed by the shrubs and our faux-gas lamp to anchor things.

These webs look really cool first thing in the morning, when they’re dew-encrusted and you can get a good look at them. Lately, I’ve been trying to photograph them, but it terms out to be challenging. First, auto-focus is out of the question: the webs aren’t substantial enough for the camera to pick up as a potential focal point. Second, manual focus is tricky too, because you can’t really get a good view of the web through the viewfinder – the strands are too narrow to really resolve (at least with my eyesight). Finally, because of the positions and the angles and everything, framing the shot is physically awkward, requiring a lot of bending over and stretching out. Generally, I’ve been doing this in the morning, after working out, so I’m sure my neighbors are thinking I’m nuts: standing on my front sidewalk, dripping sweat, with a camera, contorting into strange poses, and taking pictures of nothing.

Anyway, I’ve finally managed to get a couple of things worth sharing. First one is from late last week, showing the actual web weaver; second is from this morning, showing the latest vertical web:

web weaver web weaver web web