November 09, 2020

Photo Essay: Among the Spiders at NHMLA

A few weeks ago, I popped over to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in Exposition Park to visit its Butterfly Pavilion.  

It seemed like a good excuse to support the museum—and to meander through its nature gardens, which I hadn't remembered ever doing before. 

Of course, I've been on an epic failure of a search for monarch butterflies for the last couple of years. But when I visited the American Museum of Natural History's Butterfly Conservatory in New York City several years ago, I absolutely loved it.  

In the Pavilion, I had better luck at spotting some spectacularly colored butterflies, some of which even fluttered pretty close to me—but I got no good photos to show for it.

But this past weekend, I returned to the pavilion—for its new exhibit of arachnids. 

Similarly to the Butterly Pavilion, the Spider Pavilion is an open-air experience that gets you up close with some creepy crawlies in an outdoor enclosure with just seven other visitors. 

I'm not an arachnophile by any means—but nevertheless, I relished the opportunity to get up close and personal with several eight-legged species. 

There were literally hundreds of orb-weaver spiders and the spiral webs they’ve woven (including my favorite, the spinybacked orb-weaver Gasteracantha cancriformis, unfortunately not pictured here)...

Plus other garden spiders, wolf spiders, jumping spiders, and God only knows what else. 

The spiders kept to themselves, snatching up a snack and laying egg sacs, holding on for dear life as the wind whipped their webs around. 

But I still would've liked to have been checked for “hitchhikers” before I left!
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  1. Love your photo essays. Can you tell me what kind of camera you use and what kind of lens. Your close-ups of the spiders were great.

    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment! My last 2 cameras (including the most current one) have been 2013 Panasonic Lumix model DMC-LZ30 with a Leica wide angle lens (35X optical zoom).