Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Home Invasion!

Ok, it’s not what you think. We’ve been getting spiders … some pretty big ones in the basement, including one that looked a tad like a Brown Recluse (you don’t want that one to bite) that I hope I killed but may have got away (shudder) …

And then a rather large (for us, anyway) Orb Weaver appeared at the front door, bags in hand, and proceeded to build an orb web just to the left of the door at head height. Talk about disconcerting …

Olympus E-PM2  Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro  1600ISO  f/2.8  1/30s

Olympus E-PM2  Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro  3200ISO  f/2.8  1/30s

These spiders have the usual 8 legs and they have an extra pair of small legs in front that they use to roll their victims in silk to preserve them for dinner time. They actually look like huge fangs in this image. Ewww ….

Olympus E-PM2  Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro  3200ISO  f/2.8  1/30s

Apologies for the less than stellar sharpness, but this was hand held with the spider over my head at 210mm effective with only the stabilization in the EPM2 to try to keep hand shake out of the equation.

I went downstairs to grab the G6 and 14-140 to get some closer images with better stabilization, but alas the weaver had left. I did notice this absolutely tiny spider that had apparently expired in the web. From the markings I would say that it was a baby (it is that time of year) that did not make it.

Panasonic G6  14-140 @131mm  ISO6400  f/5.8  1/160s

The weaver was still hanging around just above our heads and had not appeared to move for more than 12 hours … so I decided to take it out of the soffit and dispose of it. When I grabbed it with the pliers by the exposed legs, I found out that it was very much alive. I chose to shoot a few images of it and then I walked a block to a bush by the street and released it. It seemed relatively unharmed as it crawled away …

These are all shot in the basement by the light of distant compact fluorescent bulbs.

Panasonic GM1  Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro  125ISO  f/2.8  4s

I moved the tripod a few times to try to capture interesting parts.

Panasonic GM1  Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro  1600ISO  f/4  2.5s

This is a focus-bracketed image, a combination of two images focused on the front half and then the back half. Blended in Photoshop with simply layer masking. Also the GM1.

The Orb Weavers have various eye configurations … the one here meets this description perfectly:


The Araneidae are ecribellate, entelegyne, three-clawed spiders, having eight eyes in two rows. The lateral eyes are usually adjacent and some distance from the medians; the four medians form a trapezoid.


Yo8u can see the laterals on the far left reflecting light. Not so clear on the right side, but they will be there.

Cool …