Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

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This week’s photo challenge is foreign, which can mean a country other than your own or it can mean something unusual or different.

I went with different and am sharing some spider pictures taken at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens in mid-September (for a different view of this spider, click here).  I believe these are both the venusta orchard spider, an orbweaver spider.  They’re not big – their bodies are barely 1/4″ – but their colors are incredible.  I found them in a densely wooded area, which is where they like to hang out.

I couldn’t get my camera to auto focus on the spiders – they were way too small – so I learned how to manual focus.  Nothing like being in the field and having to figure it out on the spot if you want the photo!  Thankfully I know my camera well enough to know what the steps were; I simply had not done it before.

As you can see in the photo below, the webs are huge and complex.

I’m not at all a spider expert, but I do find them fascinating.  My favorite boy toy is great about pointing them out to me when we’re out and waiting patiently as I take my pictures.

While these are a common spider according to my reading, I’d not seen them before and found their bright colors foreign.  Although the corn spiders are brightly colored, most of what I’ve seen has been common wolf spiders or harvestmen spiders (Daddy long legs) with their varying shades of gray or brown.  To find something so little and so brilliantly colored was quite a surprise.