Sunday, 22 September 2013

Spider Webs and Gossamer Threads

Gentle Reader~it is that time of year when the garden is draped in a raiment of the finest threads of gossamer silk, as spiders weave their magic right across the land.  Although I do not like spiders, I wish them no harm, and some of them are quite beautiful indeed.  It is big, hairy, and feathery fast house spiders that send me screaming in the opposite direction, whereas I find orb web spiders especially beautiful.  Have you seen those tiny, amazingly marked jumping spiders?  With their black and white markings I call them Zebra Jumping Spiders, but have no idea what they are really called.

The perfectly formed mystery of a web suspended across a seemingly impossible to span space with a prettily marked arachnid sitting happily in the centre of it's masterpiece is one of nature's greatest feats. 

Spider silk is the strongest fibre known to man, and a couple of years ago, a project was completed by capturing orb spiders and harvesting their silk to be woven into fabric and if you click here it will direct you to a page on the V&A website where you can read a bit more and see some of that very fine and costly fabric that was made into a shawl.  I do not agree, personally, with such methods, but it is done now and it is a particularly magnificent cape, and fascinating too.

I love waking up to a gentle Autumn morning, when dew has drenched the land and sparkles as myriads of glistening diamonds, strewn carelessly and softly by some fairy hand in the night across the webs that drape the leaves and flowers of my garden.  Today, a heavy blanket of fog sits upon us, it is not warm for there is no sun, but this serves to make the webs even heavier with dew, and it does not burn off, so that in turn means lots of photographs of dew~laden webs and plants too.

Here are some of the many webs that covered the Garden~~No spiders, just webs, for the arachnaphobes amongst us! {that's me} and this time of year I walk about the garden using my eyes as much as my feet, for often webs are strung between the widest of gaps and the unsuspecting walker is snared in some very strong, almost invisible, strands! Shudders~~~

This is probably the most scary one, so let's get it out of the way first!  Early one morning, just as the sun was rising, the light glinted and gleamed from every sinister web that covers the rosemary bush~~

Delicate patterns strung across the rosemary in the front, and to the back is  a tightly woven meshy net~

Even a damaged web looks beautiful, capturing metalic looking dew, a s it sits,hanging above the drying seed heads of Alchemilla mollis~

An unusual shot of a web across the corner of a window pane and reflecting in the glass for a special effect~

Another fine, seemingly unstructured net of web ready to snare an unsuspecting insect for lunch~

One of my favourites, this one looks like a net cast across the sky, capturing the stars that shine at night~

Here I had one web in focus and the other one out of focus for effect~

and I did the same here, but I do like this one much better~I think it looks like fairy lights~

Shudders~~~this one makes me think of Shelob's web in which poor Frodo Baggins got ensnared~~~

I love the way it is the droplets of water shimmer here~

and in this one, you can hardly see the web for beads of shimmering dew~

Even a small space between some apples is room enough for a tiny web to be spun~

I am starting to feel now that I will be able to go back into the garden very soon, with care, to start catching up on all those jobs, overlooked for so long, and prepare the garden for winter yet to come. 

~~~A Gardener's Work Is Never Done~~~


  1. Deborah, that was very fascinating about the silk being made into cloth. I've noticed more spider webs in my woods and yard this year here in Maryland than in prior years. I wonder if it means something weather-wise?

  2. What fascinating photos! Amazing what spiders can do! The dew makes the webs look so fanciful and a bit like they are from another world. Hmmm....I think I see a fairy in those photos!! LOL!!

    Glad to hear you are better! I hope you can spend more time in the garden and get some of those pesky tasks done soon. I am planting a cover crop in the empty beds I have now. Some of my beds are still producing...yeah! But my garden is definately slowing down! Take care!


Thank you for stopping by today ~ I love reading your comments