Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Small world

I was in the very midst of them and hadn’t even noticed.
The finest spun creations, that from my standing position, seemed to be no more than sparkling masses in the grass--catching the morning sun.


On my hands and knees, it is quite different. For when I enter their world, what was without form from a distance, immediately reveals its beauty. Each no more than a couple inches across and designed by an artist the size of my freckle, I settle in and watch.
A visitor to the colony of the tiniest orb-weavers imaginable.

Last night’s dew hangs on each cord. Strings of pearls, draped perfectly from stem to stem with such weight, they look as if they should break.
And at the center, the artist himself—a small, red spider.






Only one is working this morning—scampering with such speed, round and round. And in the few minutes I watch her, lays down 4 rings of fine thread, each precisely placed from the last. I hope she is just an early riser inspired by the morning sun and is not frantically replacing a web my foot unknowingly destroyed.



What does she hope to catch in this tiny round web, aside from the sun and drops of dew?
There are many other residents of her very small world.

small grasshopper


small praying mantis drinking dew drop


small American Toad


Click on images to enlarge.

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14 comments:

Dina said...

How beautifully described in word and photo. I guess more of us should get down on our knee and be still (WITH a camera).

She sure is strange! said...

Awwwwesome!!! I took some photos of spider webs in our holly bushes, one morning there were 16 or so across the porch. My pics aren't as beautiful as yours but I enjoyed the spiders' work as much.

Molly

ps, hope the kitties are doing well.

Kerri said...

Wow Nina....absolutely amazing ...the words and the pictures! Well Done!

NCmountainwoman said...

Beautiful post. Lovely pictures and thoughtful words.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Oh! wow these are fantastic... the webs are awesome but how on earth did you see that Mantis.. ha!... excellent post

Kevin Heads said...

Hi Nina love your blog. Isn't this planet awesome people miss so much living their busy lives don't they? Slow down and open your eyes the real world is out there you just got to look for it. If you like mantis you should check out my sons blog, you may find it interesting.http://palaeoentomology.blogspot.com/

GreenishLady said...

Those are beautiful indeed. I love to see spider-webs highlighted by dew or frost. You captured them so well. ... And that tiny little toad!

mon@rch said...

That is a tiny toad and love your spider!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This post brought to mind the song "It's a small world after all"... I just love to see those tiny toads hopping around.

Pam said...

Isn't it great to get down to such a small level and experience the "neighbourhood of the spider". I guess rather than have neighbours two doors down they have something happening two leaf stalks across! What a delightful post!

Beverly said...

What I think is facinating (in addition to your fantastic photos and awesome prose), is that the mantis can pick up its drink of water...no container necessary.

When can we expect to find a book? Hummmmmmmmmmmmmm...?

Beverly,
who is a huge fan!

Beverly said...

...synchronicity abounds! Look what I just found:

http://www.blurb.com/

It's how to publish your blog as a book! Too cool...

Mary said...

Hi Nina! (trying to catch up, here)

Your photos are always fantastic but your narratives are what makes your posts shine.

The spider web shots thrill me but I must admist, the orb weavers give me a case of the heebeejeebees. Last summer I walked through a gigantic web and brought the huge spider inside the house (on my head).

:o/

Jerez said...

Beautifully said and captured!
Amazing isn'it?
Ohh baby praying mantises. They used to breed in my compost pile years ago..and wow, nice to see this mini world..Thanks!
I'm highlighting you on my blog, too, with Dina, and and Michelle. See my sidebar!
Have a great weekend!