Breath Of Ecology

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Not long ago I came upon a beautiful spider web in the garden which was constructed between two tall plants, and I wondered how the spider got from one to the other - a distance of a couple of feet.


Upon investigating, I read that they produce a fine, adhesive thread to drift on a faint breeze across a gap, and when it sticks to the surface at the far end the spider tightens the strand, walks along it, and strengthens it with a second thread, then a third, and so on until it's strong enough to hold the web.


The silk is produced from spinneret glands located at the tip of the abdomen, and each gland produces thread for special purposes: a trailed line, sticky silk for trapping prey, and fine silk for wrapping it. The thread is actually stronger than steel of that same weight!


I would really love to actually watch a web being spun. I couldn't stop staring at it because it was so incredibly intricate and perfect. An architectural masterpiece!


Hopefully, one morning I'll come upon one studded with early morning dew, resembling a diamond necklace.


Written by:  Sr. Joel:  a Dominican Sister of Peace who lives in Springfield, KY.  She is a native of New Orleans  and has been a teacher, school and parish administrator, social worker, religious educator, and missionary.  She has written "Breath of Ecology" for local newspapers and has published a book under the same title.

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