Thin-film interference colors of a Nephila Spider Orb's Silk. Photo by Eduardo Libby

Golden Orb-weavers and Art Installation

By chance I found on the same memory card photos of the Golden-Orb Weaver and the Nylon fishing lines from an Art Installation. They both belong in the same post of course!

For some reason this Rainy Season the Nephila spiders on the University of Costa Rica campus did extremely well and you can see their beautiful golden-colored orbs in many places.

All the silk types of the orb (Spiders make as many as seven) are yellow, especially in direct sunlight and the very large, several feet across orbs are impossible to miss.

Some years ago, a beautiful golden cape made from the silk of Madagascar spiders by Simon Peers was exhibited at several Museums. Expensive to make, but unfortunately not very pleasant to the touch, it nevertheless remains a fascinating work of art.

The elastic and sticky Aggregate Silk from Nephilla Spider. Photo by Eduardo Libby
The elastic and sticky Aggregate Silk forms golden droplets.

 

Female Nephila Spider and male. Photo by Eduardo Libby
A very large female Nephila Spider with a much smaller male.

I used my Olympus Pen F equipped with the superb M. Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro to make most of the Golden Orb photos hand-holding the camera and keeping a fast shutter speed as the orb slowly waved in the wind. The same week I visited the Migrants Art Exhibit at the Museo del Jade where I did most of my photos with the M. Zuiko 17 mm f/1.8 lens.

 

Migrants Art Installation. Photo by Eduardo Libby
Golden soles represent the important steps of migrants in this art installation.

 

Nylon lines holding the Migrants art installation. Photo by Eduardo Libby
Nylon lines holding the Migrants art installation

 

Both the Nylon lines and the Golden Orb really benefited from keeping a shallow depth of field in the final image as they look thicker when slightly out of focus. This also makes visible the orb’s colored bands that are produced by light interference.

Do you have Golden Orb Weavers at your location? It is amazing how such a large spider is found in many places around the world.

 

Thin-film interference colors of a Nephila Spider Orb's Silk. Photo by Eduardo Libby
The major ampullate silk that makes the radii of the web shows thin-film interference colors.

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