Our bedroom's two large windows are positioned to capture both the southern sun's warmth during San Miguel's coldish winters as well as its rise from behind the mountains on the east. If we timed our sleep cycles properly the sun could function as an unforgiving alarm clock, steadily lighting and warming up the bedroom with no snooze button within reach.
|All in a night's work.|
Yesterday Stew finally got up and pulled up the blinds he had lowered the night before to hide the glare of a fluorescent full moon.
Some cobwebs, as wide as two feet across, were veritable feats of acrobatics and engineering, held in place by silky guy wires, its owners perilously hanging in the middle waiting to trap some unfortunate. Other webs were much cruder, resembling sloppy spools of white hair laid out by individuals not nearly as skillful or patient.
As I walked around the yard I was in awe, like a three-year-old catching his first sight of a full moon.
What's going on here? Were all these spiders, or whatever they were, up all night frantically stringing their webs? How do you hang a gooey length of string, probably only a few microns thick, from branches two or three feet apart, and from there weave a fragile yet deadly web?
Impressive as they may be cobwebs outside are nothing if not ephemeral creations: By noon most of them were gone or damaged so their owners would need to start all over again the following night. How can this endless labor be worth it?
I'm sure members of the Entomology Society of America ("The World's Largest Organization Serving the Needs of Insect Scientists") have answers to my juvenile wonderings about spiders and their work though they're only likely to engender more questions.
At the end of the day, Stew—a great spotter he's turning out to be—called me to witness another natural spectacle at the opposite end of the house: a waning sunset with twin shafts of dark orange rising from behind the mountains like searchlights. It only lasted a few minutes before night fell and it was time for the spiders' Sysiphean labors to begin.
|Time to get to work.|