When I looked out of the kitchen window at breakfast time on Friday morning, I thought we had acquired a new washing line!
There was at least one very clear, lengthy line stretching from the pyracantha towards the pear tree and fence some six metres away on the opposite side of the garden. The spider silk was dabbed with early morning dew and being illuminated by the low morning sun which was just cutting through the mist.
I couldn’t resist popping outside with my camera to try and capture the moment. And outside, it was even more magical.
The pyracantha wore a festive coating of silken strands as well as at least three beautifully constructed webs down one side. It looked beautiful. Sunlight highlighted the gossamer threads making them shimmer.
Wandering further down the garden, I found more examples of the spiders’ delicate handiwork. I was also pleased with my pictures – I thought the “washing line” particularly would have been almost impossible to capture.
I believe at least some of this delightful decoration was due to young spiders dispersing to fresh homes as they usually do at this time of the year. The intrepid spiderlings climb up high, stand on their toes with their abdomens pointing skywards and release silken threads from their spinnerets until they finally take off into the air.
Wikipedia reveals that “ballooning or kiting” in this way can take the spiderlings on journeys varying in length from a few metres to hundreds of kilometres. “Even atmospheric samples collected from balloons at five kilometres above the earth and ships in mid-ocean have reported spider landings”, states Wikipedia.