Going back over some of my older photos I came across this golden orb weaver but the background was unusually green and lush. I usually associate golden orb weavers with the arid Australian outback so what confused me for a while is that I was expecting to see muted browns as I was sure this image was taken in the Flinders Ranges.
Going back over dates and travels I soon discovered I’d taken this image in the tropical lushness of a Tongan forest. With that realisation I was taken back to that particular day and how almost every walkway through that forest was barricaded by web after web after web of these giant spiders.
To say the least this experience triggered my old arachnophobia but at least the chance to photograph these amazing creatures went a long way to quell that innate fear.
Tongan Giant Spider, Nephila tetragnathoides
Photo: Robert Rath, ‘The Golden Orb Weaver’ 1/250s f/4.5 ISO100 200mm