Today I Watched a Spider

DHEC stream team with Wingate University interns at Thompson Creek

Marbled Orb Weaver – Araneus marmoreus

Today I stopped to watch a spider. Now I know what most people are thinking – gross. It was not gross though; it was actually amazing. I do not think I have ever had the opportunity to watch an Orb Weaver build their web in daylight, but man was it special. The spider went around and around, pulling strands of silk and anchoring them down.

A symphony of insects chirping almost synchronized with the perfectly placed strands of silk, as if the forest was playing me a song and the spider a composer. He switched gracefully between his eight legs maneuvering around his circular web, meticulously placing each strand, and moving on to the next. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I noticed something I almost couldn’t believe. As the spider laid out a fresh strand of silk the silk would come out translucent. After a few seconds, the web changed color! Right before my eyes. The web changed from translucent to the signature white color associated with spider webs. I never thought about the color of spider silk or imagined it could be a different color. This observation was so interesting to me that I felt excited while watching the spider work, like I had just seen something special. I left the area with a feeling in my stomach – a feeling I can only describe as happiness.

Remember the feeling of being outside as a kid on a summer afternoon? That feeling of freedom and wonder fluttering in your stomach, your bones, all through you? It felt like that. We have all heard the phrase “stop and smell the roses” but what about “stop and watch the spiders,” when was the last time you stopped and?experienced the world around you? When was the last time you felt that feeling…

Author: Brianna Bergamini