Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spider webs

With the rain last night and high humidity, the morning was slow in awakening, holding at bay the summer sun that beats down mercilessly. The misty morning held dew drops in suspended animation while the wet grass relished the moisture. It was a silent, still world. A world that seemed to be quiet and content.

And then I saw them. Spiderwebs. Huge, complex spiderwebs. At least seven of them spread between some trees in the yard. With the wind gently blowing, they looked like ethereal garden ornaments floating in mid-air. I marveled at their strength to hold together despite the breeze. Even more so, I couldn't believe how some of the webs, suspended gracefully between trees perhaps thirty feet apart, were anchored by single strands of filament to key points on the ground or among the branches. "Was one spider responsible for all this work?" I wondered. Each of the webs seemed to be connected, spanning about 150 feet all together. Impressive.

I wish I would have taken a picture early this morning. Now, with the risen sun having burned off the fog, the webs aren't as obvious. Not obvious, that is, until you walk into one, the sticky threads clinging to your face and hands. But they are still effective. I noticed multitudes of tiny insects had been lured into the trap, only to await their certain fate as the spider closes in for an early lunch.

"Oh, what tangled webs we weave." I suppose that is a lesson to be learned. And yet, that's not the lesson I want to focus on today. I just want to marvel at the magnificent engineering skills of those arachnids. How did they learn to do that? Did their moms and dads have to spend years teaching them to hone their web-building skills? Doubtful. (The average life expectancy of a spider, assuming a kid doesn't smooch it, is 1-3 years.)

An orb web, those complex silky structures with concentric circles joined together with "spokes", take only about an hour to build. The spider can be seen repairing the web throughout the day but will most often build a new web each night. The silk threads are stickiest when new; much better for catching its small prey. Simply amazing. An exquisite creation designed by an exquisite Creator.

Thank you, Father, for your marvelous creation. Each creature, each plant, points to your glory and majesty. But thank you even more for caring for me.  Help me never to forget your love and mercy.

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!"  Luke12:27-28

1 comment:

Rick Gray said...

God's creation is so wonderful. Even down the smallest of creatures. Thank you.

The wee hours

The house is quiet at 3:18 a.m. Outside, faint rumbles of thunder roll as lightening sporadically brightens the dark sky with jagged spears...