Spiders and Spiderwebs, Boynton Beach FL

I don’t like spiders and snakes.

But when I saw a marshy/swampy “field” full of webs, backlit by the morning sun at Green Cay Wetlands, I couldn’t resist. 

I think I have something to learn about capturing these – maybe something to do with depth of field – but they’re amazing structures, nonetheless.  The photo I couldn’t get was the one of the entire area – 200 feet square, maybe – all lit up, and filled with webs.  With grasses choking the scene and webs hanging from every available piece of grass, it was just too busy to look like anything at all.

Circular spiderweb, backlit, in marsh

Oval, angled spiderweb, catching the morning light

Spider in backlit web

Backlit spiderweb, hanging from grasses

Spider in backlit web in marsh grass




  1. wow — I’d be too busy looking for the spiders to stop and photograph them.

    However, we have 2 or 3 big spiders that use our balcony in the summer.They build their webs every day anew. Takes them a loooog time, then they sit in the middle (upside-down) OR, hide near the top, under the metal crossbeam edge…waiting…

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Barbara – Step into my parlour, eh? And these webs were far enough that I had no concerns about a jumping spider – which gives me a chill down my neck just thinking about it.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Carla – Even just to see them. I walked by this area on the way in and saw nothing, but as the sun got higher, on my way out they were nicely backlit. Lucky!

  2. John Whitman

    Isabel – great pics! I’ve always liked spider webs, especially when they are covered in dew and easy to see. Maybe it is the engineer in me. Now if we could only train spiders to build bridges.

    John W

    1. Isabel Gibson

      John – Well, there you go. They could do the bridge to Australia, maybe. As for visibility, I have seen a few covered in pollen, and that was also amazing.

  3. The webs are endlessly fascinating and often are unique to the spider, such as the “zipper” in the webs of many we see here. The substance of the web is inspiring scientists to steal the formula and reproduce its tremendous strength in other applications. However, I wish sometimes they would look and admire like the rest of us without feeling the need to steal secrets.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Laurna – I could see a few styles, but had no way to categorize or even describe them. I didn’t know they can be unique to the spider. Amazing.

  4. Jim Taylor

    The thing that strikes me is the evolution of evolutionary wisdom. How, for example, did spiders learn that you have to lay out the radii (radiuses?) before you can start tracing the circumferences? I doubt that they had a mental blueprint to work from, and surely it would seem more logical to put out the strands that actually capture prey than to establish a structural framework first. Spiders do not attend engineering school, as far as I know. So how do they know to do first things first? And how many billion abortive traps did they try to spin before someone set our the radii first?
    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim T – I guess, given enough time, the ones that do it better survive long enough to make baby spiders, and so it goes. No logic required at the individual level, of course, but it does have a logic of its own.

      1. Logic, schmodic — how do their little bodies make SO MUCH web stuff.
        And yet, the next day, when the web disintegrates, I could roll up (between my fingers) the whole thing into little ball — still bigger than the spider, but still…

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