Labor Day web browsing

While out with the dog for a walk on this last weekend of summer, I glimpsed a spider suspended between the steel supporting cables of a utility pole.  Stooping down for a closer look, I could appreciate the speed at which she worked.  What I couldn’t see clearly was the web she wove, almost invisible in the morning light.  Yet I knew the completed orb would be on display later that afternoon.

When he was perhaps five or six, my son and I paused on our way home from the school playground to watch a similar spider at work in the flower garden at a local church.  As I recall, we reclined on the grass for the better part of an hour observing the miniature master weaver at work.

The spider had already constructed a tetrahedron by running silken threads between several green stems and proceeded to drop lines from these outer boundaries to the center.  Afterwards she moved from radius to radius, deftly spinning parallel threads between the spokes.  Mesmerized, we watched this industrious litttle artist shuttle around her newly formed web, engrossed in her work.

Later that day we stopped back to find the web completed, billowing slightly in the evening breeze.  Its architect hung head down, suspended in the orb’s center, resting from her labors.

And so today, on the morning of this day of rest deemed our day of labor, I sit on my front porch to browse yet another arachnid artist suspended in her silken web, eagerly anticipating the first fruits of her work.


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