Antelope Island is becoming Spiderific!

A dark Female Western Spotted OrbweaverA dark Female Western Spotted Orbweaver – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Antelope Island State Park’s Spider Festival is just a few weeks away and the spiders and their webs are already making an appearance. Yesterday I couldn’t resist taking a few images of the spiders in their webs yesterday.

I think these are all Western Spotted Orbweavers (Neoscona oaxacensis) but some appear to be different subspecies. I think this one is Neoscona oaxacensis dorsum but I am not 100% certain on that. Any help with ID would be appreciated.

Male Western Spotted Orbweaver?Male Western Spotted Orbweaver? – Nikon D810, f13, 1/500, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I know some people get creeped out by spiders but as long as they aren’t crawling on me I am not bothered by them and find them to be interesting subjects. I even think of them as beautiful.

Female Western Spotted Orbweaver in her webFemale Western Spotted Orbweaver in her web – Nikon D810, f13, 1/500, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The north end of the island is a great place to see the spiders up close even without leaving your vehicle. You can pull over to the side of the road where there are bushes and easily see the spiders and their webs.

Female Western Spotted Orbweaver on a stickFemale Western Spotted Orbweaver on a stick – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The spiders trap insects in their webs and that is fine with me because they keep the numbers of mosquitoes down! I don’t like biting bugs and anything that gets rid of them naturally is great.

Female Western Spotted Orbweaver weaving a webFemale Western Spotted Orbweaver weaving a web – Nikon D810, f9, 1/1600, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

On August 8th the 3rd Annual Antelope Island Spider Festival will take place, the activities start at 11 am and run through 6 pm. There will be walks and talks and fun for everyone.

Female Western Spotted Orbweaver on Antelope IslandFemale Western Spotted Orbweaver on Antelope Island – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The park staff will talk about which spiders are harmless and which to look out for. And if spiders aren’t your thing there are always other animals, flowers, birds and views to see.

Life is good.

Mia

11 Comments

  1. Utahbooklover July 13, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Coming from Southern California, I was amazed by these large, beautiful Utah spiders as a teenager.t Thanks for the great images, since I haven’t seen them in awhile. My wife freaks out no matter how small the spider is, which I try to return outdoors to do their thing.

  2. Elephant's Child July 13, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Beautiful things – and incredible architects and builders.

  3. Neil July 13, 2015 at 9:12 am

    I was out there last week Mia and they were THICK all along the Causeway. Every single shrub had spiders on it, and every single space between shrubs had a spider web. I’d never seen such a density of spiders. Great photos!

  4. Lois Bryan July 13, 2015 at 8:17 am

    I completely agree with you on the spiders. I’m fine with anything that will eat a mosquito!! I just draw the line with them on the bed or in my bathtub. LOL!! We had an orb spider in the garden a few autumns ago and when I’d take the dogs out at night I had to point my flashlight UP to make sure I didn’t march into a web that had been created from tree to shrub along the walkway. Then, next morning I’d go out with my camera gear all set to get some great snaps, and the web would be gone along with my giant orb spider. This several times in a row, so I finally did a bit of research. Turns out our orb, after the night’s hunting and feasting was completed, would ingest her web, find a cool dark spot and lie low during the daylight, then resume her activities the next night. For about 3 nights running I tried every trick in the book to get a decent shot of her. Not an easy task. So I truly applaud your beautiful images here!!!

  5. Patty Chadwick July 13, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Sorry, Mia…that was supposed ro be festooned, not festiined…the evil iPad strikes again….

  6. Patty Chadwick July 13, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Spiders are OK, but it’s their webs I love, especially early in the morning when they’ve caught last night’s dew. Then the bushes and grasses are festiined with sparkling strands of “spider diamonds….magical!

  7. Patty Chadwick July 13, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Spiders are OK, but it’s their webs I love, especially early in the morning when they’ve caught the last night’s dew. Then the grasses and bushes glisten and sparkle with such intricate strands of “spider diamonds….magical!

  8. Lori July 13, 2015 at 7:57 am

    I love spiders and never kill them when I find them in my house. They are so beneficial, like you said, mosquito killers! I have three sons who would yell to me from the downstairs that there was a spider in the bathroom! They shiver with just a little fear. And one of my sons works with dead people! I am forwarding your email to them! HAH! Your photos show how beautiful and intricate they are.

  9. Liz Cormack July 13, 2015 at 5:58 am

    As much as I am terrified of spiders (yes, the hair stood up on the back of neck when I saw the first one)…..these are absolutely beautiful photos.

  10. steven kessel July 13, 2015 at 5:55 am

    Impressive photos, Mia, especially considering the lens. That’s the kind of image I like to get with my macro.

  11. Bob Bushell July 13, 2015 at 4:30 am

    Lovely.

Comments are closed.