Engineering With Orb Weaving Spiders

Engineering With Orb Weaving Spiders
This image has been adjusted so you can see the web.

Life on a technology-focused has lots of surprises. Not once as I was building Mezzacello did I think spiders would be that big of a deal. Welcome to this blog about engineering with orb weaving spiders

This particular web was astounding. It was nearly one meter in diameter, and the trailing lines were seriously strong and nearly three meters wide. The walkway that this arachnid built this we across is 12′ (3.6m)!

An Engineering Triumph

I am not going to lie. When I almost ran face first into this unexpected web this morning, I was very annoyed. I mean, who wants to walk face first into a HUGE spiderweb wearing basketball shorts and no shirt first thing in the morning?!

But the more I looked at this marvel, the more amazed I was. That spider created a tensile line almost 4 meters long! and that silk was STRONG! I sprayed it with water so I could photograph it.

What amazing instincts. How can I fault an ally like this orb weaver for having the chutzpah to build a huge web out of thin air like that?! I was impressed and blessed to live in such a balanced ecosystem.

A Fear Of Spiders

I personally believe that spiders are over-engineered. Eight legs and eyes, a web base, complicated and dynamic liquid proteins built FROM their prey, and they are voracious insectivores? As a farmer, I love them though.

I can’t say I am always fond of nearly walking face-first into a web in the space between the allee and my parterre garden. But spiders are impressive. I have learned to go out in late summer KNOWING how productive they are.

A Friendly Detente

I respect spiders so much more now that I live on a farm. They are the perfect farm friend. Yes, their webs ARE everywhere, but so is their impact.

I mean Charlotte was one of my favorite fictional characters as a kid, and Shelob was and is my LEAST favorite characters. But a balanced ecosystem makes room for all life. I walked around this web, for now.

At least this spider decided not to build their web in the arches into the allee. That is no way to wake up in the morning. I have taken to carrying a stick with me when I go out to check on the farm, so I can get rid of webs before I walk into them and start screaming about Shelob!

I have walked into more than a few orb weavers who decided this arch and it’s Pi proportions were irresistible! Spider’s silk on steel is a very tough combo. When you walk into that, you feel it, friend.

Leave the first comment

Related Posts