9.19.21 ~ Merritt Family Forest, Groton, Connecticut

There’s a web like a spider’s web
Made of silver light and shadows
Spun by the moon in my room at night
It’s a web made to catch a dream
Hold it tight ‘til I awaken
As if to tell me, my dream is all right

♫ (American Folk Song) ♫

We used to sing that song around the campfire when I was a girl. It’s such a comforting tune but my spider dreams were never all right. The following pictures are of the pappi of American burnweed seeds caught in another cobweb. I don’t think this spider could have been pleased with what his net trapped!

From the first opening of our eyes, it is the light that attracts us. We clutch aimlessly with our baby fingers at the gossamer-motes in the sunbeam.
~ Lucy Larcom
(The Unseen Friend)

I am an incurable arachnophobe so I was happy to not see any spiders out and about. But I couldn’t help appreciating the handiwork they left behind.

22 thoughts on “gossamer”

    1. Thank you, Anna! Believe me, if there had been spiders in those webs these photos would never have been taken, no matter how memorable! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Leelah! It was one of those rare times when my curiosity overcame terror for a few brief moments. 🙂

  1. I’m glad you were able to share the spider’s handiwork without having to dodge the spinner itself, ha! Perhaps it’s the web designer in me that’s drawn to spiderwebs … and they’re everywhere in fall!

    1. It’s true, spiderwebs are everywhere in the fall, catching me off guard as I go out the front door, more often than I care to admit. But once, there was a spider dangling down right in front of my nose when I opened the door. Yikes! (I wish they would design their webs somewhere else!)

  2. Glad you paused and took beautiful intricate pictures of the webs. They are gorgeous. I think of the native american legends of spider weaving us all into existence. And wondering if reaching out and touching the web might help your fears at all.

    1. Thank you, Kathy! It was nice having the desire for a photo opportunity be stronger than my fears for a few short moments. I highly doubt touching a web would help me. After more than sixty years of trying “everything” I’ve come to accept my phobia as a chronic condition…

      1. That was probably a silly idea. I am really really afraid of snakes and reached out to touch a dead one last week and it was so scary but figured it was a baby step toward meeting my fear.

        1. Not a silly idea at all, I’m sure it would work for some people. It’s interesting the fears we develop. Snakes don’t bother me at all, in fact, my sister and I used to pick up garter snakes we found sunning themselves on the stone wall by our house. Our father taught us how to do it correctly. But he could never get me past my fear of spiders, even though my sister has no problem with them. Did you have a bad experience with a snake when you were a child?

          1. Sometimes I think phobias are tricks of the brain, little blips in the hardware, similar to random ailments in other parts of our bodies.

  3. Barbara – I admire the spider’s handiwork as well and last week I returned from walking and saw the biggest spider web with a huge spider in the middle, all tucked in. I have to say I shuddered and thought to myself “please never let that beast wander over near the garage or front door – let it stay on that side of the house strung between the bush and the house. Yesterday I put all the yard ornaments and hose away, did some much-needed weeding and pruning, but did not stray over to where I saw the web, though the web was gone. I was in the garage and I saw the biggest spider I’ve ever seen skittering along the garage floor. I didn’t have time to get myself upset, I stomped on it with my heavy shoe – guts squished from beneath my shoe. I felt queasy but it was dead. It had to be that spider. Ugh!

    1. Yikes!!! I would have done the same thing, Linda! Inside the Insectarium at the Museum of Life & Science in Durham, NC, there is a orb-weaver spider open-air exhibit. No glass. The spiders are free to come and go but they stay suspended in their overhead webs. The museum must be providing something for them to fly into their webs. Well, I’ve never actually seen them even though I’ve been in the building. When my daughter encountered the exhibit she came back around the corner and said, “Mom, do NOT go over there.” She went on to explain. Fortunately she doesn’t have the same phobia and has taught her children to appreciate spiders. In fact, everyone in my family will escort spiders outside for me, but when I’m alone killing them is all I can manage. It’s a knee-jerk reaction.

      1. My mom used to take them down with her mop. She’d see one on the ceiling and go get her dust mop and bring it down. That pretty much horrified me as I said “it’s going to climb into the strings and be at large in the house.” She would say “then one of us will step on it.” In the house I have to ensure the spider is on solid ground, not in the kitchen where there is brick-like tile (so uneven) and not on the carpeting where it’s no guarantee it will die. I’m happiest if I can sweep it into a sink or the bathtub – that’s rare though. I have squashed them on the hall wall and just cleaned guts up later. I wouldn’t be able to see that exhibit either.

        1. I’ve used a broom, sometimes a vacuum cleaner hose, to get them off the ceiling. We had spider guts on a wall in the bathroom for a couple of years before we tried to match the paint color and paint over it. (Wish we had saved the original paint!) I had tried every cleaning product on the market trying to get rid of that stain. And a pint of paint is kind of expensive… Wishing you a spider-free autumn, my friend!

          1. I wish the same to you my spider-hating friend. I had a moment last night – I never go downstairs in the morning or night while it’s dark. The laundry room is not paneled like the rest of the basement and it is painted a very pale mint green. The tile is the same color and it’s so I can hone in on any creepy crawly in there. I put the furnace on and had an issue, so went downstairs and the biggest centipede was on the wall. I could not hit it with a shoe or anything else so I walked away leaving it “at large” in the basement. Now I’ll only go down in the middle of the day when it’s light down there.

          2. Well, I had a spider in the kitchen sink to greet me yesterday morning. Grrr… Let that be the end of it! I’m like you, I stay out of the basement and laundry room at night. Was the centipede you saw a house centipede? I learned that they hunt and kill spiders so now when I see one I leave it alone. 🙂 (I don’t see them that often…)

    1. Thank you, Donna! It was a beautiful work of art but I was glad the artist didn’t stick around and that I was safely behind my telephoto lens! 😉

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