There was a light breeze as I worked in the garden. Just enough to make some leaves tremble. And, as I worked the finest thread of cobweb brushed my cheek.
The work was rewarding. The earth was moist and the texture crumbly so weeds could be pulled out easily. Soon, I thought, they will strengthen their hold on the soil. The roots will clamp tightly to extract the last moisture from the earth and the soil will hardened into temporary cement. Warmth and clear skies are welcome in winter, all too soon the deadly endurance battle will begin.
Today was a joy. I felt a tiny thread, and then another. Looking above I saw hundreds of them drifting in the breeze. Each was a tiny parachute attached to a spider small enough and light enough to be carried aloft by six inches of gossamer thread. Some were carried high, others snagged on bushes or grass, the least fortunate landing on me. Millions must land on barren ground after long or short journeys in the quest to find shelter and sustenance. Some would fly high and be caught in the swirling currents of the sky. Perhaps my spider was a jet traveller, arriving after a long flight in the high-speed jet streams that whirl around the world. Were they African spiders or perhaps South America; it has been known. In the great lottery of reproduction and dispersal, there are startling stories of adventure. I wanted to know my spider’s story, but we didn’t speak the same language.
Heather Webster Langhorne Creek story weaver and red wine lover