Ash Caught in the Web

October 03, 2017

Spider and ash (1)

Photographer: Rebecca Roush 
Summary Author: Rebecca Roush 

Ash was seen in the air in downtown Seattle early last month, bringing back memories of Mount St. Helens’ big eruption in 1980. Multiple wildfires in western North America are causing raining ash in the region. This is not something normally measured by air quality agencies. As a result, air quality measurements are not capturing the relatively large particles of ash. While humans were encouraged to stay inside and recirculate air in buildings rather than having fresh air pumped in, spiders living in the open air to contend with ash caught in their webs. Some of the ash particles are nearly half as big as the spiders themselves. Studying spider webs have been one of the best ways to visualize the amount and size of ash that’s been falling. The silky and sticky threads easily capture particles of all sizes. 

Photo Details: Camera Maker: SONY; Camera Model: DSC-WX220; Lens: 4.45-44.5mm ƒ/3.3-5.9; Focal Length: 4.45mm; Aperture: ƒ/3.3; Exposure Time: 0.020 s (1/50); ISO equiv: 100.