Web Walk

As the dark gives way to morning light…

…Moisture envelops the garden inhabitants…

…Encasing the invisible to bring it into view.

For a few, ever so brief moments…

…the liquid air clings to the silky filaments…

…showing the mastery of the weaver’s craft.

The conditions are perfect.

The usual haunts are scanned, as well as some new locations…

…one must be all seeing, every inch observed.

One must be quick, for they will soon disappear…

…with the drying rays of summer sunlight.

What of the mysterious artists who produce these masterpieces, each one as different as a human thumbprint?

This one was spotted the next day, the ladder of threads leading the way to the secret lair.

Even spaces for the tiniest webmasters are available, including a bite sized hole in the petal of a Stargazer lily.


When we awaken to heavy fog, when the light has penetrated the atmosphere enough to not require the flash on the camera, pajama clad we rush into the garden checking the familiar places where webs have been witnessed previously. Sometimes nothing can be captured, other times, the webs are literally everywhere, then gone within minutes. But not really gone, the threads still are clinging to branch and leaf, helping to eliminate the chewers and biters. Occasionally we will feel the strings that have been woven across the paths at nose level, but only slightly, for the paths are kept clear by constant hiking up and down and around the Fairegarden. We are aware of the invisible curtains, whether they can be seen or not. And we are thankful for them.


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33 Responses to Web Walk

  1. ellada says:

    I don’t like spider but you photograph something very beautiful.

    Hi Ellada, thank you for viewing even though you don’t like spiders. I know there will be comments like this, but for me the webs are precious, especially when they can be photographed. I am not afraid of spiders, but do not care for them inside the house even though they capture other insects and make a meal of them there. It is ants I am afraid of, especially fire ants, after being swarmed by them several times. It is their numbers and herd mentality that frighten me, I believe. Spiders are usually loners. πŸ™‚

  2. Edith Hope says:

    Dear Frances, How beautifully you have captured these precious silky tapestries, all the more special as they will soon vanish and remain in hiding until they are next revealed.

    Just one question haunts me. Are the neighbours close enough to witness your pyjama clad antics?

    Hi Edith, thanks, so nice to see you here. Our neighbors are quite close and can see me in the front gardens, but I am up quite early and they are either already gone to work or still sleeping. Usually. My pyjamas are not revealing, in any case, no see through baby dolls for me at this stage of my life. HA In the back, it is private, with tall evergreens and a wooden fence around the perimeter.

  3. MNGarden says:

    This is a great post so artfully done, Frances, about our spinner friends of the garden.

    Hi Donna, thanks so much, so nice to see you. The spiders are my friends, in the garden that is.

  4. gardeningasylum says:

    Good morning, The image of you in your pajamas chasing down these beautiful webs with your camera makes me smile. Love that shot of the artist and her ladder!

    Hi Cyndy, thanks. There is no time to waste getting dressed when the conditions are primo for the webs. I had been waiting nearly a year for this moment. You smiling makes me smile. πŸ™‚

  5. steve says:

    Frances, that is a truly gorgeous post, dear. Absolutely stunning. Just know that those incredibly beautiful things have been many ‘face fulls of web-dust’ for guys who wake up early and are the first patrollers who garden and landscape quickly through some of those passages. I mean many faces full! πŸ˜‰ I bet you even know what I mean, lol. No big deal – it just happens. Spiders are definitely garden helpers. They just leave beautiful messes.

    Hi Steve, thanks so much. I do know about faces full of webs, and often carry a stick to wave around in front in certain narrow spots with lots of evergreens, the spiders favorite web places it seems. πŸ™‚

  6. Valerie says:

    Spiders are natures weavers of art for sure. These bits of silk are very efficient as well.

    Hi Valerie, thanks for visiting. I so admire the webs of spiders, and since taking photos of the webs with a digital camera have learned how different each one is, something not visible to my poor eyesight outdoors.

  7. Frances, the only time that I seem to notice spider webs in the garden is when I get the in the face walking around the garden. But I will be watching for the next heavy fog day, and check it out.

    Hi Deborah, thanks for stopping by. Check amongst the evergreens, that is always the first place I look. The webs seems to show up better there on those misty moisty mornings. πŸ™‚

  8. So lovely! And good job showing all the spider-haters out there how beautiful they are!

    Hi Joseph, thanks. I understand the fear=hate thing,having that feeling about snakes. I believe that the nursery rhyme about itsy bitsy spider climbing up the waterspout is preferable to little miss muffet! πŸ™‚

  9. debsgarden says:

    This is a wonderful post. I have always like spiders in my garden ( but not in my house!), and your photos highlight what master artists they are. Too many people are simply afraid of all spiders and never come to know their beauty.

    Hi Deb, thanks so much. I am glad you enjoyed it, and the spiders outdoors. I am not too happy about them in the house either, but they are there just the same. The artistry of the weavings is so beautiful with the tiny droplets of moisture and just the hint of light to illuminate them. Even if one doesn’t care to see the weavers. πŸ™‚

  10. Darla says:

    Wonderful web captures. You are so right about the light having to be just so in order to pull this type of photography off. You did a splendid job, it’s the pajamas I’m sure.
    I have always enjoyed the intricate detail of webs, my favorite being the Zipper Spider.

    Hi Darla, thanks so much. I have been waiting a very long time for the webs to appear and finally was rewarded for that patience. Timing is everything for these shots, no time for dilly dallying! I love the one that is hanging downwards on the boxwood with the step stones in the shot, like a lace tablecloth hanging on the clothesline. πŸ™‚

  11. commonweeder says:

    I’d give you more credit for those beautiful photos if I didn’t think you had so much help from the spiders. HA! I think I must have really inferior web builders at the end of the road, although we have lots of spiders, outdoors and in.

    Oh I don’t deserve any credit at all, Pat, except knowing when the time is right! HA back at ya! HA HA I don’t believe there are any inferior web builders, but do prefer those geometric webs. We have plenty of the other kind that seem like a chaotic hammock as well. πŸ™‚

  12. Laurrie says:

    What wonderful shots. Some look so perfect that they seem drawn, or added to the background by an artist, but I know they are real and dewy and in your garden. What a charming lesson in observation, teaching us to look, really look, at what is going on inside the garden.

    Hi Laurrie, thanks so much. They are marvels of nature, aren’t they? They fact that the webs are really there all along but only visible under perfect conditions only adds to the mystery. πŸ™‚

  13. Frances, I love your spider web photos!

    Thanks Monica. I am so glad you like them.

  14. Gail says:

    fantastic! I love the spider neighborhood at fairegarden and you always have the best web photos. The one over the heart shaped leaf is especially charming~xxxooogail

    Hi Gail, thanks. It has been a long dry spell on web photos for whatever reason. I needed to replenish the folder with new shots. πŸ™‚

  15. lotusleaf says:

    Beautiful pictures and wonderful words!

    Hi Lotus, thanks so much. πŸ™‚

  16. Turling says:

    Stunning. We have spiders that live in the hill behind our house, where they cover their burrow with a web. It looks unearthly.

    Thanks Turling. How wonderful to have that magic in your hillside. I am glad to hear you see the wonder of them. πŸ™‚

  17. Jenny B says:

    How beautiful…this is the time of year when the spiders seem to be weaving over-time. Could it be they are sensing the shortening of daylight? Lovely photos, Frances with a wonderful story to match.

    Hi Jenny, thanks. I do believe you are right, the spiders are in overdrive even though it is still summer. Maybe they know something we don’t. Probably. πŸ™‚

  18. Teresa O says:

    Stunning! I never liked spiders until I learned what wonderful keepers of the garden they are, especially the big, black and yellow garden spiders. I have a healthy respect for them, but never, ever disturb their webs, not only are the webs gorgeous, but they serve an important purpose.

    Loved your photos and your prose. *Deep sigh for beauty*

    Hi Teresa, thanks, you are so sweet. I keep my distance from the big ones too, and even moved one with her large egg case to the woods a couple of years ago because she wove her web on the grill! I used a long stick and was very gentle. πŸ™‚

  19. Barbara H. says:

    Very eye opening, unless you walk into a web, of course. It makes me wonder how much more is out there that we don’t “see” unless conditions are just right.

    Thanks Barbara. I believe that there are several universes right in our gardens that we cannot see. Sort of like Whovilles! πŸ™‚

  20. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What a fantastic post Frances. Each photo is magical. You know they are decorating for a big party. What beautiful decorations. I wish I had your skills with the camera.

    Oh you are too kind, Lisa, but thank you. I have so little skill, point and shoot on auto, but knowing when the webs will be visible is the key to all these shots. Early in the morning with heavy fog just as there is enough light to not need the flash. Check the evergreens first, those webs are the most apparent, then use the macro and hold very still. πŸ™‚

  21. Phillip says:

    Wow, those are great photos Frances.

    Hi Phillip, thanks. It is all in knowing when and where to look. Nothing compared to what you could do, of course, with real photographic knowledge! πŸ™‚

  22. chen says:

    If I have to pick a favourite part of the composition in this post, I would say the writing at the end is most vivid and beautiful.

    Hi Chen, thanks and welcome. I do not always add text at the end of posts like this one, but felt further explanation was necessary. Glad you enjoyed it. πŸ™‚

  23. Beckie says:

    Frances, what great photos! It takes an artist’s eye to bring out the beauty of the webs. Well done. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing a brief moment in time with us.

    Hi Beckie, thanks for those kind words and so nice to see you here! When the coniditions are just right, the webs are easy to spot if one knows where to look. Evergreens are their favorite homes, that I can see anyway. πŸ™‚

  24. Joey says:

    Pajama clad photos might be the best!

    Thanks Joey, pj’s make for the most comfortable photo attire anyway! πŸ™‚

  25. Hi Frances, I’d say you had a fun time taking these photos. And we’ve had the rain to be able to do it here, too! πŸ™‚ Happy Days!

    Hi Shady, thanks, I did have fun. Finding so many to shoot made it very enjoyable, I didn’t have to work hard at all or get into too many weird positions. Glad you have had rain. πŸ™‚

  26. You are a blessed gardener to have so many 8 legged friends in your garden. Your photos capture the beauty of spider webs so perfectly.

    You are so sweet, Noelle, thanks. I love having the critters here, even The Financier remarks about the wildlife. It is the way gardens are supposed to be, full of life. πŸ™‚

  27. There is no doubt that spiders are clever engineers busily spinning perfect webs, however, they do make me shiver.

    My sister in law used to live in Sydney – Oz – and they would occasionally fish out a funnel web from the swimming pool. These were males attracted to water and with a tendancy to wander, looking for females. They could live for a day in water and inflict a venomous bite! Ahhhh, imagine one popping out of the skimmer as you gently float on the li-lo…..

    Anyway, not to detract from the post, lovely photos, but I’ll keep my distance!

    I know how you feel about spiders, Rob, so thanks for viewing even if maybe you did it from behind the sofa! HA I would be scared of poisonous spiders in the swimming pool too. Almost like snakes that get in there, but not quite as terrifying, to me anyway.

  28. Rose says:

    Such beautiful works of art in your garden, Frances. Spiders don’t bother me, so I’m always glad to see them at work in my garden–they can feast on all the flies and destructive little critters they want.

    Hi Rose, thanks. I agree, this a regular gallery! Glad to hear you aren’t put off by the arachnids, either. πŸ™‚

  29. Great photos. Webs are difficult to capture my friend. I also enjoyed your words so much. Felt like I was right there beside you tiptoeing through the garden stalking the reticent spiders cameras in hand. Lucky spiders yours.~~Dee

    Hi dear Dee, thank you for those kind words. I would love to have you tiptoe around with me some day! πŸ™‚

  30. Pam/Digging says:

    Beautiful pics and a post to match. Like most of your commenters, I don’t love spiders, but I know their value in the garden and am happy to let them do their work out there. We have a lot of wolf spiders, which I don’t believe spin webs but stalk their prey. Not as glamorous as your web-spinners, I’m afraid.

    Hi Pam, thanks for that. I don’t know much about spiders. I thought they all had webs. Now I know better, although I did learn that all of them can spin the silk. Wolf spiders use it to encase their eggs.

  31. Town Mouse says:

    What a perfect post to read in 100 degree weather! Thanks so much, you really are amazing.

    Oh my, Town Mouse, I am blushing! Thanks for those kind words. So sorry to hear of those temps for you. Glad the dripping webs were able to cool your mind a bit. πŸ™‚

  32. chuck b. says:

    The webs are great, but did there have to be a spider?

    Thanks Chuck. I had second thoughts about posting the spider, maybe should have left that one out?

  33. You inspired me to start taking pictures of the hundreds of spider webs I have on my property, thanks for the inspiration πŸ™‚

    Hi Simple C, thanks for visiting. Have fun capturing those webs, it really makes us think about the hidden world inside our gardens. πŸ™‚

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