As I was taking my morning walk today, I had the pleasure of witnessing one of nature’s most spectacular wonders. The air was heavy with humidity and dew as the morning fog was lifting and the conditions were just perfect to view multiple spider webs. To the average person, these miracles are just a nuisance. They get into your hair and cling to your face in the basement, attic and even the garage. At times, it seems like their only purpose (to humans) is to get in the way. But to me, a gardener and herbalist, they are one of nature’s most interesting and beautiful works of art.
Have you ever thought about how and why spiders create their webs? Most spiders spin their webs at night, eat the old web and rebuild it the next night. In this way, they literally recycle the silk from the web. They use their webs to catch their prey, aka food. They create them by producing silk threads in their silk glands with the help of the spider’s spinnerets. Spinnerets are special organs that helps the spider decide exactly what type of thread it needs for the web.
These webs are so intricate they rival the most expensive fabrics in design. And each spider web is different. Each spider must take advantage of their surroundings and anchor the web so it will be able to catch its prey yet remain intact. Many times, the web anchors will stretch several feet or even yards–to the nearest bush, tree or structure. At times, the spider merely creates the web on the ground taking full advantage of whatever opportunity exits. Even then, it is still a perfect work of art. Isn’t Mother Nature amazing?
So, the next time you have the opportunity to get up a little early and wander around the garden or go for a walk, I urge you to do so. Look around and you, too, may be able to capture a beautiful spider web and experience one of life’s simple pleasures!