There was a fascinating article on the radio the other morning about how spiders can “fly”. Apparently scientists, after much study have discovered how they manage to land on ships in the middle of the ocean, which Darwin noted when on board ship, but he didn’t pursue investigating it. Spiders have been filmed waving one leg in the air to judge the wind velocity then spin some thread rather like a parachute, (called ballooning) and they let the wind take them where it will; they’re now pursuing the idea mooted in the 1800s that spiders can detect electrical fields, and use negative and positive fields for travelling, recently they’ve discovered that they can lift off when there are no winds at all, thereby concluding electricity must be involved somehow. The scientists are still studying them with that hypothesis in mind.
I love the idea that they can cast their silk to the wind and fly away free (as a bird?)
So, as spiders are the theme here’s a wee poem I started a year ago, completed today, it’s inspired by my early morning walks through the forest, and the unpleasant sensation of breaking through countless invisible spiderwebs that weren’t there the evening before.
Without intent I wreck their toil;
dawn-weavers at their looms,
who’ve beautified the forest path,
sway waiting in the gloom.
I, moving through the myriads
of glinting threads in dew,
create a cloak of jade and gold,
tinged red with anger too.
I try to brush them gently off
avoiding thoughtless crush,
next time I’ll hold a branch ahead
and set them wriggling on a bush.
I called this “Night Weavers” at first, which I prefer, however Dawn Weavers is probably more correct, for they surely rise earlier than I do.
If I were a spider I suspect I would have a scruffy untidy web like the ones you see in the lower part of the 2nd photo. The tidy systematically woven webs seen in the 1st photo would be home to orderly spiders: the engineers of the spider world; or maybe the other ones are so fed up with reconstructing their webs after destruction that they just weave any old thing. Whatever the case, there are plenty of horrid irritating flies in the forest for them, they bob around the eyes, especially Meggie’s, where they line up for a drink or to lay eggs, yuck, so I have to keep swiping them away for her; these are a recent phenomenon of the last 4 or 5 years as we never had them before.
I looked up arachnophile, the term doesn’t exist apparently and understandably as so many people are frightened of them, anyway if it doesn’t exist it has to be invented……arachnophilia exists though, it’s some sort of java script building programme to do with the world wide web….which is beyond me!