Tent Spider

Neil Ross

Brisbane, Australia

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Artist's Description

Photos taken in my backyard in Brisbane, QLD Australia.

Camera: Canon IXUS 80 IS / 8.0 Megapixels (point and shoot)
Exposure:1/30 sec at f/2.7
Focal Length: 6.1mm / Macro setting / Handheld
ISO: 80 / Flash: NIL
Editing: Lightzone
Textures: With the exception of some gentle sharpening, contrast adjustments and cropping, this photo is pretty much original. Gentle saturation increase of RED on spider’s abdomen to make her pretty, just like lipstick :D That’s it!

This is a view of a Tent Spider (cyrtophora moluccensis) that most of us would rarely see, namely the ‘top’ view. They usually hang upside down beneath their tent-like web so we would normally see their underside. This beautiful, big girl is without a doubt the largest Tent Spider I have ever seen. Apparently they are meant to be about the size of a 50 cent piece, but I guarantee she was double that. The webs they weave are anything from 60-90 cms in diameter.

After one of my typically frenzied gardening sessions, I accidentally chopped out the main section of plant she was suspended from. She hung on for dear life and ended up on the lawn. Luckily I realized what I had done so quickly took a few photos and then placed her back in the garden. I felt so guilty that I had disturbed her, but only a week or so later this entire property was inundated during the Brisbane Floods 2011 so nature would have done what I did anyway. Regardless, she was destined to move, one way or another!

To me, spiders have always been a very powerful spiritual omen representing creation and industry, and also warning those who may be in danger of being caught up in the illusions of this world. They are quick to seize opportunities simply because they remain centred and exercise patience. A very powerful dream symbol and meditation, they are also great teachers, helping us to acknowledge and overcome our own irrational fears. Whether the spider weaves a web or not, they all carry the same energy. In numerology, they resonate to the number 8.

I will state for the record that I’ve always had a fear of spiders. It wasn’t until I took up macro photography that I saw them in a totally different light. Since then, my appreciation has grown into love. They are the most beautiful, shy and retiring creatures that deserve our admiration, not our fear. My fears were irrational, and that is what my spider friends have taught me. For that I am grateful. However, some spider species are just nasty bastards, so I steer clear of them! Luckily, this lovely big lass is one of the placid ones :D

Photos taken with Canon IXUS 80 IS and edited with Lightzone. SIMPLICITY is my niche!

For those that are squeamish around spiders, this one’s just a little bit more ‘in your face!’ Sorry, but your fears may be as irrational as mine once were. I’m sure you’ll get over it :D

Spiders produce silken thread using several paired spinneret glands located at the tip of their abdomen. Can you see the thread here? She held on tight for a rough ride!

Artwork Comments

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