A Silver Chain of Morning Rain

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary located in Naples, Florida is best known for its ancient bald cypress forest, the largest in North America. The pristine wilderness is also known for its abundance of birds and plant forms including lichens, bromeliads, orchids and impossibly green ferns. I could not resist first showing that Corkscrew Sanctuary also numbers among its residents some very industrious arachnids. Our morning drive to the swamp began before 5am and I did not account for the fact that winter in the center of the state often comes with dense fog. Even at 7am, well after sunrise, the sun struggled to pierce the thick moisture laden atmosphere. Arrival at Corkscrew seemed almost dismal at first. It was like walking through lazy clouds not quite up to rising. Drips of moisture fell out of the thick soup pattering pleasantly onto leaves, the boardwalk and clung beautifully onto the gossamer work product of the resident web weavers. Silver chains of beaded droplets sparkled in the misty gloom revealing a delicacy of pattern as fine and intricate as any man made adornment.

Spider Web-Morning Mist

Droplets cling to this web design like chains of silver beads with a background of colors of the morning swamp…grays, purples and sage greens.

Beaded Chain - Web Droplets

Red Legs Spider

Although not macro by any means…and the distance was more than fine with me…this industrious arachnid is busily restoring its moisture laden web. Gives me the shivers though just looking at its round, turgid black abdomen! Did I say I was an arachniphobe?

Twin Discs-Spider Webs

The picture above and below were of web discs suspended in the air like little space ships.  They looked just like the prismatic surface of a CD in the sunlight struggling through. Quite beautiful to see them floating beyond the boardwalk. The picture above I tried to desaturate the confusion of brightly lit foliage in the background in order to show the spectrum of light on the web.

Green Orb Spider

As the spider above in picture 3,  has red and yellow back lit legs, this one is all gold and green. I think this is a kind of Orb spider but I have not yet located images so I can tell you their formal names.

Every photo journey is full of unexpected subjects.  The moisture in the air provided this lovely definition and the ability to show something normally invisible.

 
“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.” John Muir
 
Just watch out for the spider webs!!
Judy 🙂
 
 
 
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~ by Judy on January 6, 2013.

9 Responses to “A Silver Chain of Morning Rain”

  1. Well, I’m no great fan of spiders myself, but that one with the fancy red legs is rather attractive! I am amazed by the iridescence in the webs. You’re right that they resemble the CDs. People around here hang them from their sailboat rigging to flutter and fly and help keep birds away. They’re always shimmering like your webs.

    We have huge garden/woodland spiders that weave vertical webs out in the country. They can be 2-3′ across, and even more. If you don’t have the dew to help you spot them before you walk into them, it can be ultra-creepy!

    What’s really fun is discovered webs on the boats when I’m working – there, they get covered with sanding dust rather than dew.

    • It would take a blog post or two to describe my hallmark scary spider dreams!! I am only surprised that I have not had any dream consequence from taking these pictures. Maybe the beauty of diamond bright water droplets , the spectrum of colors on the webs and the translucent colors of the spiders themselves took me to another place. Ouuu I do hate walking into them though….just remember dust is your friend!!

  2. I like this Judy, writing and the photos, nice mood in both. Sounds like a great morning.

    • What a genuinely lovely comment to wake up to this morning!! The day did brighten up around noon so I’ll try and show you a different mood with a few subsequent images of the day. The ever changing light shifts in a forested or natural environment is one of the fun things about photography. Thanks so much!!

  3. Spectacular evidence of Mother Nature’s beauty – both simple AND complex. I love dew-laden spider webs…they look like silver necklaces intertwined. As always, beautiful photography, Judy. And a great blog title, too. ;D

    • Funny thing is that even though I was not seeking out the web weavers nor their delicate tapestries, next time I would!! As long as I do not walk into a web or stand directly under any kind of arachnid, I can let nature’s grand design entangle me in its beauty..only figuratively of course!! I think mankind does get inspiration from all natures’ patterns and colors….it is integral to our being and no wonder!!

  4. Oh, how beautiful….! I love these images. Although I tend to run into *every single spiderweb* on my hikes, I find these to be the most amazing creatures. And their webs! Insanely strong!

    I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go to Corkskrew Swamp…! I must go. How long did it take you to reach? Do you think it deserves an overnight?

    • Corkscrew will take about three hours to get there very approximately. I think it ought to be planned for an overnight as it would make a really long one day from Boynton. The entry fee is 12.00 but it is good for two consecutive days and you could see about the light and activity and go back which I would have done myself if it weren’t for an actual business meeting the next day in the area!! Tonight I’ll post some other scenes to entice you further!! 🙂

      • Oooooh I can’t wait!

        I really want to get there. Maybe I WILL plan an overnight; like you say, 3 hours is a bit of a haul for one day of heavy hiking! 🙂

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