While hiking along the service road near the upper and lower Scarborough at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, I came across a beautiful Yellow Garden Spider perched in its intricate web. This bright yellow and brown spider had spun an impressive two-foot wide circular web anchored between the tall roadside vegetation and the water.
At the center of the web was the spider’s signature stabilimentum – a dense zigzagging band of silk. Scientists debate the purpose of this unusual structure. It likely serves as camouflage, masking the spider from prey and predators alike. Or perhaps it draws in insects or warns away birds from the well-hidden spider.
I was struck by the vibrancy of this spider against its surroundings. With no tripod on hand, I carefully steadied my camera and telephoto lens by hand to capture a clear shot of the Yellow Garden Spider showcasing its vibrant colors and delicate web.
Getting low and adjusting my angle, I was able to highlight the spider against the out-of-focus foliage behind it. The lighting was perfect to bring out the spider’s details. In post processing, I tweaked the contrast slightly to make those colors really pop.
As a wildlife photographer, I’m always seeking out small hidden wonders in nature. This Bright Yellow Garden Spider was a magnificent find and made for a wonderful photo. I can’t wait to explore more of the Sequoyah Refuge to see what other little critters I can photograph in their natural habitats.
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer
- Camera: Fujifilm X-T3
- Lens: Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II (attached with a Fringer EF-FX Pro)
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date and Time Taken: August 03, 2021 (8:35 A.M.)
- Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
- Aperture: f8
- Shutter speed: 1/1300
- ISO: 2000
- Exposure Compensation: 0
- Focal Length: 400 mm