Saturday, August 15, 2015

Attitude Adjustment

I was up and out early this morning for a walk along our trails. Ed had cut the trails yesterday and so they looked nice and neat. But here's the thing about walking the trails first thing in the morning: Hundreds (maybe thousands) of spiders have spent the previous night carefully crafting beautiful webs to lure their prey into. Their intricate artistry is astounding. When the rising sun hits the dew-soaked silk strands they seem to be electrified.

When you are the first one up and out, you run into a lot of spiders' webs. I'm sure the spiders work hard to create these works of art and I'm sure I mess up a lot of them. I have always found it irritating to be batting thin strands of silk off my face. Evidently, I'm not alone. Ellen Degeneres did one of her memorable monologues on this very subject. The good news is that Ellen claims that every time you walk straight into a spider's web you are bound to meet a new friend that day.

I also recently read that warblers use spider silk in the construction of their nests. The lightweight material is strong and flexible and allows the nest to mold to the adult bird during incubation (preventing heat loss) and then to stretch to accommodate the growing baby birds. Because it is sticky, it also helps bind the nest to the branch to which it is attached.

So rather than get irritated by all the cobwebs, I decided to think of all the good things that come from them – meeting new friends and helping birds build stronger nests – among them. Suddenly, they didn't seen nearly as irritating. (I did the same kind of attitude adjustment with dandelions: I began to think of them a pretty yellow springtime flowers that the bees love, rather than unsightly weeds.)

Perhaps it was easy to change my attitude as it was a spectacularly beautiful morning. Here are some pics from my iphone taken on my walk today.

Pearl Crescent Butterfly: perfectly preserved mid-flight in the thinnest spider's web
The swirl of an oak tree leader
Poke berries
Chestnut seed pods
Queen Anne's Lace
Partridge Peas
Common Milk Thistle
Evening Primrose. See the fly on the top bloom?
Usually by mid-August, our fields are brown and very few wild flowers are still in bloom. Not this year! With the steady rains, everything is still vibrant green and the flowers are resplendent. Would love to meet an old or new friend for one of my morning webwalks. Won't you come along?

No comments:

Post a Comment