Monday, April 6, 2015

Weaving in the breeze


What is charmlessly known as the "back end" of my blog includes stats on which blog postings attract how many visitors, and I can confidently say from previous experience that this subject matter – spiders and spider webs – keeps the punters away in droves. In fact it sends them clicking away faster than you can say "boo" to a scaredy-cat.

And so I know that the arachnophobes have already all gone...

However, spider web aficionados, all seven of you, can enjoy the following two photos of our resident orb-weaver's magnificent work, captured this Easter Monday morning as it's perfectly sprinkled with fog's micro dew drops.


Our front garden is heaven for orb weavers, as the distance between the street tree and the roof of our verandah is about 6 metres, I'd guess. That's nothing for a confident orb-weaver to span. Beneath that main span of silk, its superb web, which is about 1.5 metres in diameter, wafts above our thick jungle of groundcover wattle bush, where no humans set foot. So, once built, a web can last for several days, until a bad storm brings it down or a goofy bird flies into it, leaving gaping holes which are then repaired overnight.


The web is incredibly strong, like a ship's sail. There was a slowly waking morning breeze as I took these photos, and the web acted like a pair of lungs, breathing in and out as the wind blew it back and forth in a steady, slow rhythm.

Where's the spider? Hiding in the bushes. It does its insect hunting at night, helped greatly in this task by the street lamp outside, and our house lights, too. By morning Mr or Mrs Scary-to-Arachnophobes (and insects) is not to be seen.

It's one of the pleasures of gardening, sharing it with all creatures great and small. And both Pam and I often marvel at the cleverness and beauty of spider webs. These large orb-weaver webs are the cathedrals of spider-dom, but all their creations show how nature gives each and every creature its own special talent that helps it to thrive and survive. The main thing the rest of nature asks of we gardeners is to let them be, as much as possible. Just stand back and admire by all means, but live and let live if you can.