Spider Season

September 19, 2013

So many spider webs

So many spider webs

There seems to come one day each autumn when we wake to the world covered in ethereal spider webs.  What seasonal signal prompts this over-night industry?  Or are the webs always there, waiting to be made visible by the touch of dew?  I can’t believe I would be blind to so many webs on an ordinary day.  Surely these dangling webs are the result of a rare web-making frenzy?

All of these webs were photographed on a single morning just a few feet from my front door in our yard and garden.

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Spiderwebs on rosemary bush

Watercolor sketch of spider web in a rosemary bush

Watercolor sketch of spider web in a rosemary bush

 

Spider web

“Spiders draw plans of capital cities.”
— Jules Renard, from The Journal of Jules Renard, edited and translated by Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Roget

“The spiders have done their science studies, with particular emphasis on geometry.”
— Jules Renard, from The Journal of Jules Renard, edited and translated by Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Roget

Autumn is the time of spider webs.  When you look at them, you can see that the radiating spokes of a spider’s web certainly do resemble certain cities, like Amsterdam for example.

City map of Amsterdam

 

Tree Watching in the Snow

January 22, 2012

Snow with catkins and curves

“All that summer conceals, winter reveals.”
—  Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek

The leafless tree skeletons on winter reveal their unique branching patterns.  Trees have either “opposite” or “alternate” branching.  (You can learn more at this link.)

Maple trees in the snow

Tufts of snow caught on a maple branch

White web of snow caught in horse chestnut tree

“Every branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every street and pavement mute . . .”
— Thomas Hardy, “Snow in the Suburbs”

Watercolor sketch of maple tree branching pattern

“The web glistened in the light and made a pattern of loveliness and mystery, like a delicate veil.”
— E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web

Spider web in the morning light

It’s that time of year when the spiders are busily spinning huge webs.  There are several trees in my neighborhood that are swathed in gossamer veils.

Gossamer veils of webs decorate these trees

Another tree covered in webs

Patterns of loveliness and mystery

Spider Webs

October 7, 2009

Spider web

Spider web

Dew-sparkled spider web

Dew-sparkled spider web

Dew-drops on web

Dew-drops on web

“The patience of the spider’s web
is not disturbed by dew.”
     — Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser, Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry