Filed Under (my country home) by admin on 05-09-2008

On a few very special mornings each year, there is a nearly surreal nature show in the fields of rural communities. Overnight, thousands of spiders hang webs on nearly every stalk, twig, and blade of grass. That in itself may not make a great show—under normal circumstances you might not even notice the fine threads of the webs. But when atmospheric conditions are just right, a heavy dew gathers on the webs, turning them into clouds in the morning light: clouds in the weeds; wispy puffs of white.

When I see the webs on those dewy mornings, I marvel at how many spiders must live in every cubic yard of field-space. Can those webs capture enough insects to feed all the spiders? Are they all built by the same type of spider? If there are so many of this one type of spider, how many of every other crawly critter must there be? On a short walk through a meadow, it follows that I’m disturbing hundreds of thousands—perhaps millions of spiders and insects!

They don’t seem to mind… in fact, for all the insects and spiders that must surround us, it’s amazing how few of them we actually see.

In any case, nature produces these awesome shows but a few mornings each year. I wish a photograph could do justice to the subtle beauty of a meadow of spider web clouds.

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