Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Little Trappers

Spider Web
Orb Weaver Spider
The early morning light catches a dew speckled web in the marsh.  You can see such webs driving down the road, riding a bike, but it is best on foot.  You can observe the intricacies of the web, contemplate the mastery of the spinner with just a tiny speck for a brain, and never a teacher, or even a YouTube mentor to show it how it’s done.  Look close at the round globes of dew hanging from the web and notice the upside down, reversed and distorted world inside.  In a web you can read the story from the night before.  A hole in the web might indicate that some large insect, like a katydid crashed into the web tearing the silken threads.  You can find last night’s meal still stuck, or perhaps a snack all bundled up to be eaten later. 

If you are watching close to your feet as you walk, you’ll probably miss the web maker altogether, they will have dropped from view before you reach them.  Look ahead a little way as you walk and you’ll see them.  As you approach some will drop out of sight, but every now and then a slow approach and a cool morning the web spinner will stay dead center.   Some are small, and some are huge, at least by my standards.  These are some of the orb weaver spiders.  I could tell you some facts about orb weavers, but I must admit I’d have to go research them, and for me the orb weavers are like stars, they are for looking at in wonder.  I care not for the names of stars, what they are made of.  I may know some of those things, but when I look up at the sky it is a time to feel; to feel awe, to feel small and not to think.  When I look deep into the many eyes of the orb weavers I feel afraid, and feel it is time to move on.  Go search out the orb weavers if you dare.  You can find them in the marshes, prairies, and fields all around.  

Dew Web
Fly Eater

Previously published in the Oshkosh Scene.

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