50with50 No. 43
A spider starts to rebuild its destroyed web for the 43rd entry in the 50with50 series.
One morning as I was leaving the horse pasture, I saw a beautiful spider web that went from the pasture fence all the way to the ground. I went inside and grabbed my camera, as it looked to be a good photo opportunity. When I came back, the spider was still there, so I quickly adjusted my camera settings.
However, I had not counted on a visit from Copper the Beagle. He always likes to be around us when we are outside. Because I was crouched down to the spider’s level, Copper came over and see what I was looking at. As he did, he ran right through the web, knocking almost the entire structure down. The spider was able to hang on and ride one of the web strands over to the fence, and that is where I photographed her. I imagine she was contemplating whether that was a good location for her web or if she should relocate. So although I had planned for a cool photo of a spider and her web, I settled for a cool photo of a spider without her web.
To help you judge their size, the cells in the fence wire are 2" by 4". As you can tell, this is no small spider! I was happy that she ended up on the fence and not on me or Copper.
What’s the Name?
We have called these spiders October Spiders for many years. That is because we always start to see them in September. Makes sense, right? Actually, we first started seeing them in October. We later realized that we were also seeing them in September, too. But the name stuck. And in our family, we know exactly what we are talking about when someone mentions an October Spider.
However, these spiders do have an official name, which is the Black and Yellow Argiope. I only know that because I just looked it up. I can remember October Spider much more easily, so that is how they will always be known at our house.
The female Black and Yellow Argiope builds its web to lay its egg sac in the fall. But then the female dies in the first frost, which explains why we do not see them after October. But that is all part of God’s plan. The eggs hatch in the fall, and the young spiders stay in the sac through the winter and emerge in the spring. And then one builds a web again in September or October, and the whole process starts over again.
That spider did not rebuild her web in the same place. She had learned a thing or two, and she applied that before rebuilding somewhere else. She found a place farther away from the path of a guy with a camera and a dog, which was probably a good idea.
Right now, we are rebuilding. You might not think of it that way, but I do. So many things that we have done before have been knocked down. Our “normal” way of life ended back in March of this year. Maybe we can get that way of life back, but it looks like it will still be a while.
For example, at our church we have been slowly starting back for in-person meetings. We started with a Sunday morning worship service, and then later on we added Wednesday night Bible classes. A couple of us were talking about how it almost as if we are starting all over again from scratch.
I get that feeling in so many areas. We are finding new ways of doing things, or in some cases new ways of not doing things. We are starting to do some of the old things, but other things can’t be done yet. New technologies replaced old ways of meeting in person. This is a long, slow learning process.
Rebuilding takes time. It also takes planning, effort, and patience. That spider did not rebuild her web in five minutes. I don’t know how long it did take her, but it was not a quick process. And she planned it out for somewhere different this time.
Be patient and understanding with everyone, because rebuilding takes time.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. - Galatians 6:9
About the Photo
I have mentioned the 50mm lens and the 50with50 project quite a bit, given that this is the 43rd photo out of 50. I set the aperture at f/2.4 for this one instead of f/1.8 as I might have done in the past. That setting kept the spider and some of the fence in focus, while still keeping the background nice and blurry.
Color was a bigger issue for me in this photo. Everything had a reddish-purple tint to it, especially the fence wires. I wanted color for this photo, but just not in that shade. The orange of the spider’s legs stands out, and that would have been lost in black and white. So I played with the color settings a good bit to get this look here. As with so many things, it just took a little patience to get it right.
Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Aurora HDR. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: SonyFE 50mm f/1.8
Date: September 10, 2020
Location: Home, Williston, Tennessee