A similar image, zoomed out a little farther:
Here's a similar pairing, but from a slightly different angle. Notice that each long band is made up of many fine, colored stripes. (Click on the images for larger and sharper versions. These pictures are pretty mind-boggling!)
And now I'll zoom out a little farther. Do you have a guess yet?
Eric spotted this in our backyard this morning. The photos were taken with my camera just before we left for work.
Are you ready? The next photo will reveal the answer!
Yes! This a spider web, one section of which was lit up in a very special way.
Eric was brushing his teeth and looked out the window to see this spider web partly lit by the morning sun. He rushed me out the back door to take a few pictures before we had to leave. I struggled with the camera settings, and I didn't really know if any of the pictures had come out. When I reviewed them later in the day, I was blown away to see the dazzling colors revealed in some of the close-ups.
To learn more about what produces the colors, I did a Web search, followed some threads, and found a few sites that describe optical effects in spider webs. I'll admit that the physics behind this phenomenon are over my head. However, it was interesting to note that some of the resulting colors are related to the structure of the sticky strands in parallel rows between the radial lines (or spokes) of the web. These cylindrical silk threads are coated with adhesive droplets. The droplets apparently act like miniature lenses!
I'll show one more picture, and will also explain one thing you might be wondering about. I took these pictures with a relatively slow shutter speed. The longer exposure time likely captured a small amount of web movement. The wide bands of colored stripes are an artefact of the camera. That is, the strands of silk are actually narrower than they appear in the photographs, but these images allow you to see the amazingly varied colors!
What a great way to celebrate the summer solstice — with an incredible light display!
With many thanks to both the spider and the sun...the orb-weaver and the orb!