Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Spiders

After a long break I had the camera around my neck. The world around turned into a wonderful theatre. Actors all over. Beaconing me to take their pictures.


This Damsel fly held me attention for sometime. It was drizzling on & off. Initial snaps with zoom from far & slowly I close on to the subject stopping only a few centimetres away with the macro on. It is concentration, balance, and above all - a wonderful sense of getting absorbed in them as you keep watching them -


And soon this bee sitting on a 'kal-chapdi' (a long vertical stone slab). Notice the transperency in the wings. Amazing!!!

Next half an hour was (yet another) turning point in my life. I discovered Spiders!!!! Yes...spiders.... man...great stuff....actually what I discovered turned out to be Spider Women ;-)) Seriously. The rest of the blog contains pictures of what I think are Gaint wood Spider. Infact, all of them happen to be the female of the species. The male apparently is insignificantly tiny.


That day I saw two webs. One of them had a small spider, and the other a real big one. Light was quite bad. And so I did the un-pardonable. I snaped the smaller spider with my flash on. These spiders are cool chaps. Coolest dames, I have ever come across. They give a damn to you. Flash on - top view - Smaller spider.



And, soon, thanks to Partha, who generally swung his umbrella up, and I looked up & saw a huge spider. Almost black & white snaps with bad light. The last one is my current background image.


Giant wood spiders (Nephila Maculata) are also known as Golden Orb spiders for the golden color of its silk -though I saw only thick white strands of silk - they make the largest & strongest webs. Web diameter: 1 metre++




The web in the above pic was in a Y frame, with top left & right support from two different tress, and the bottom left support from a 6 ft plant. The spider was at an height of 12 feet. Leg to leg it looked the size of one's palm.



As I stood there, and looked around, and took these pictures. I started finding more & more spider webs. In a 3 metre radius, I spotted 4 webs. The webs have a strong 2-d structure and in the centre lives the spider. In one web, I noticed two other sparse(not well structured) 2-d webs, parallel to the main web, just a few inches away. In another web, only one such loose web was seen apart from the main web. Strangely, I have been staying/visiting the IISc campus since 1996, but never had seen these spiders before. The belly & the back view of the spider.


This web was high above. More than 15 - 20 ft I think. I was unable to spot the male spider in any of the webs. This spider silk is apparently very strong, used by man/tribals as food, fishing lures, traps etc. And, the spider seems to have a wide presence around the globe.



Giant Wood Spider. Big web. Unfazed. So, next time you are outdoors look around for them. They get lost in the heights, the light, & the vegetative background. But, if you watch keenly, you will soon spot them.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I never knew that spiders can look so beautiful…………..
Brilliant photos….

My3 said...

This is amazing stuff, Akash! extremely beautiful....

Anonymous said...

I have no words!!!!