As I wandered around the front yard this evening, pulling weeds, deadheading flowers, and checking on the bird bath I nearly walked right into a gorgeous web stretched from the live oak to the azalea bush hedge. It was head high for me…so a good 5 1/2 feet from the ground and extending upward several feet higher. A beautiful spider dangled beneath it, lowering herself to give me a close once over. Her body looked like it had been sprayed with mercury, the long slender legs striped with vibrant yellow. I apologized for disturbing her work, ducked under the web and continued over to the hostas.
Returning to the house, I made certain I was well clear of her intricate and beautifully woven web…until I felt the whisper brush of silk against my skin and realized in watching her, I had touched another web. Another beautiful black and yellow orb weaver (Argiope aurantia) also wove its delicate web from the opposite side of the oak to the azaleas surrounding the next tree. I only brushed a couple of filaments and the spider swiftly scurried down to repair the damage.
I watched as these gorgeous females tirelessly created their artistry in silk. Here they will lay their eggs and, in just a few short weeks, they will be gone… their life’s work completed. But for this moment, the beauty of their creation becomes eternal. And I am humbled to have been present to see its creation.