Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Guerillas in the Mist

Their traps are beautiful to behold. A marvel of engineering in every way.
The strongest spider silk is from the Golden Silk spider. It is the strongest fiber known to man. It is five times the strength of steel, stronger and more elastic than Kevlar (bullet proof vests).
The webs of the orb weavers were the seeds that grew suspension bridges in the minds of many architects. Think Golden Gate bridge. Strong enough to be a bridge, but flexible enough to hold up to the earthquakes that mother nature dishes out.
Spiders, while scary to most folks, eat their weight in insects every day. Insects that cause human disease and death.
Just as a bit of trivia. If you look at the web above, the 'spokes' of the web (think wagon wheel) are not sticky. Those are the walkways for the spider. The circular part of the web is what is sticky and catches all the insects.
On foggy mornings, you can often see the webs that you would never see otherwise. While I love spiders and the place they hold in the ecosystem, I don't like walking into a web unseen anymore than the next gal. I then do the 'spider dance'. It's a bit of jig, coupled with some mad wiping motions of my hair and clothing.
For now, I just choose to admire the beauty of the web. Nowhere else in nature can you find such a show of ingenuity and engineering. It really is a piece of art, if nothing else.


  1. I love seeing webs also and you have captured some beauties! We rarely kill spiders our way as I am sure they keep the bugs down as you say. And there are so many awesome types!

  2. I just stopped by from Ree's blog - I've been meaning to visit you for some time. I, too, like spiders and was pretty unhappy when a neighbor proudly showed me the large, beautiful spider she had stomped out!!! I reminded her that it was probably eating the mosquitos we'd been complaining about, but a lot of people dislike or fear spiders and snakes. I don't share that dislike, but I have done the spider dance on many occasions while hiking through the woods!!!

    Nancy in Iowa

  3. Thanks Warren, we love spiders at our house, too.

    Nancy, welcome. Some folks can't abide spiders or snakes, I just choose not to be one of them. My dad was the original outdoorsman, and taught me what would hurt me and what wouldn't.

  4. These webs look fabulous! Did you take all of the pictures? Do different species all make different webs? Thanks for all the info on spiders... amazing stuff!! I used to dislike spiders and snakes but I now only fear them:)) I never kill the spiders: if they are really small I take them out, if not, I have my hubby do it for me.

    PS: I know how the "just walked into a spider web" looks like:))

  5. CeeCee,

    You got some amazing shots of some beautiful webs. Thank you once again for opening my eyes to a new wonder. This has all been absolutely fascinating for me!

  6. Sandra, did you get my note about not being able to comment on your blog? Something is wrong with the comment box for me?? Yes, I took all the photos. The spiders that weave the circular webs are called Orb Weavers. Like a human family, they are all related, but different.

    Justina, just keep plugging along and I'll have you rescuing spiders that have gotten into the house and putting them outside. :) They really are worth their weight in gold. Think of all the flies they are eating at MBF.

  7. No CeeCee, I didn't get your not about you not being able to comment on my blog... I made no changes so I don't understand why is that. Can you try again and if it doesn't go through I'll contact Blogger. Thank you.

  8. I have to admit, the webs are pretty, but I still don't like spiders or spider webs. Just looking at them makes me twinge! I like to see them in pictures though! When a spider gets into the house I always take it outside & release it, I don't believe in killing things. My house is old and I can't blame the bugs for wanting to share it with me. But I can show them there's probably more food for them outside.


  9. Your pictures are so beautiful. I love spiders. I don't want them ON me, but I love to watch them and look at their awesome webs. And I appreciate their role in our ecosystem. Beautiful pictures.