Friday, May 13, 2011

Observation Medication - It's Good for the Soul

This weeks observations have been of spiders and their webs.

They are some of my favorite carnivores, like lions and tigers.

I think they are so beautiful and such an important part of nature. But, like most people, I have a very healthy respect for them.  

I don't want to be friends with them.  I don't want to hold them and talk about them like they are puppies, but I am in awe of them and appreciate what a fascinating role they play in nature. 

They are weavers of webs. 

They use string to create their nests, their homes, and yes their traps. 

Did you know that most spiders make more than one type of string depending on what they need it for?

This week in my weekly observation I kept coming back to spider webs.

Well, running into them.  

They are everywhere.  

All across the path and unless the light is hitting them just right, I don't see them and I walk right into them and then like most people I get freaked out that there might be a spider crawling on me.  EWWWW.

Anyhow, in spite of that, I still stand back in awe of them and the webs they build and how beautiful the are with all those eyes (most spider have 8 sets of eyes - except the wolf spider which only has 2, but his are really big.).  If you ever get the chance to watch a spider trap its pray in its gossomer silk you will be amazed by how fast they work.

Today, as I was walking in the woods, I was paying extra attention to the webs because I knew this was what I was going to write about today.  I feel like because I was paying attention I was lucky enough to see this black widow eat her prey.  That's not something I see everyday. 

It was pretty scary and cool at the same time.

 I started thinking about what effective carnivores they are and why they are so scary to us is that they set the trap, and poison then tie up their prey, and ultimately eat them.  

THAT is scary stuff - it's what horror movies are made of.  

No wonder we are so afraid of them.

(there are 2 on these flowers, can you find them?)

None the less, they are a part of nature and an important one in that they play a very big role in insect control in the natural world.  Something we take for granted. And I am thankful for them and what they have taught us about thread and weaving, but I prefer they keep their distance and I will keep mine.

Until Monday... I'm off to the woods to learn some more!

1 comment:

  1. I have spent many pleasant hours observing spiders weaving and removing their webs, and capturing prey. Our old house in Maine had an open porch and the spiders loved it there. They are also HUGE! Now that I have a screened porch I don't have as much opportunity to observe them or the other critters that used to come to visit me. I do appreciate the protection from mosquitos though.