Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

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.

Nature Norfolk Botanical Gardens Spiders Weekly Photo Challenge

dogear6 View All →

I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.

20 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Lovely pictures! Bravo for putting in the extra effort seeking the shots you wanted :D It’s intersting that, in the post I just made featuring a Venusta Orchard Spider, I also encountered her at the same place, the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. I live in Michigan and had never seen one before. Looking forward to going through more of your posts ^_^

    • Thanks Alaina! Since going to the Norfolk Botanical gardens, I’ve seen those spiders further inland here in Richmond. I lived in the Midwest for most of my life and don’t remember seeing them either, but I bet they’re there somewhere. This time of the year, it’s all the orb spiders spinning their webs like crazy before fall sets in. I don’t see anywhere near as many orb spiders as I did in Chicago and Iowa.

      Did you see my corn spiders pictures? Those we had in Chicago for sure. This one was taken in Atlanta.


  2. That is a neat looking spider. I will show my boys. They have a fascination with them, but also are afraid of them. I guess it is a love-hate kind of deal. We had one on a window for a while that they would check on. Then one day it was gone. Nice job on the pictures once again. I am always impressed.

  3. A spider is a spider, is a spider and the best of all is a dead one as far away from me as can be. We lived in Florida for over 15 years and I do believe every poisonous spider, snake, and insect lives there. So, no i do not care for spiders. My husband was mowing the lawn and felt something on his back. He rubbed it and paid no attention until it began to swell. He had his one and only encounter with a poison spider. The swelling was the size of a hardboiled egg, split in half and plastered on his back. His doctor surgicalled removed the inflamation and stitched him up. It took many months to fully heal. So beware of harmless looking spiders.

    • I would agree with you on that. My Dad had that happen to him also. And I know we have black widow spiders here in Virginia. I admire the spiders, but no way will I handle them.

  4. Great use of “foreign,” I was curious how you used it. Definitely unusual and different…beauty comes in all shapes and sizes! Thank you for visiting my blog, too!

    • Thank you and you’re welcome. Your blog was what got me thinking that I could do this week’s photo challenge. Up until then, I had planned on skipping it.

  5. Beautiful spider! Our orb weavers in Florida are frighteningly big – some of them (when you include their legs) get as big as a hand! I think spiders are amazing creatures….viewed from a very reasonable distance!

%d bloggers like this: