Actually these spiders seem to be everywhere right now. I’m fascinated by the size of their webs. They not only can span distances of many feet but they also have depth, with multiple layers.
I took these first two images from underneath the web. The larger spider is the female (about 2 inches / 5 cm across). I don’t know if the two smaller ones are both Orb Weaver males or intruders. The webs also catch small debris that happens to be floating by.
This last image was from further down the path. The overall structure of the web appears random, probably better to ensnare unsuspecting lunch.
Quite a few of the Orb-Weaver Spiders have built their webs at an angle to the board walk headed to the swamp making side view photographs a possibility. It was fascinating to watch this one pluck a fly or bee from the web and then what seemed to be wrapping it in silk.
There were some other insects dangling from similar wrappings nearby. These spiders seem much larger than last summer’s crop, but that may be my imagination, or Ted’s, playing tricks on me.
We had been told by many locals last summer when we first started visiting the swamp that the Orb, aka Banana, Spiders were nothing to worry about. They seldom make their web across the trail and don’t jump onto humans. Sure enough, their season passed without incident, but I still don’t like to get too close.
This year’s batch is now very active building webs and it was interesting watching this female spinning her silk.
Back and forth, hanging upside down and pulling herself along very methodically, she added a new row to the top of this web.
The strands appeared to be different colors as the web swayed in the light.
In another web down the trail the smaller male and the female may have been getting ready to mate. The female eats the male when she is done with him. I didn’t stay to watch.