Spider web season

Cindy ArpOur Town Outdoors, Powell

I consider August the beginning of spider web season. When my boys were young, we’d often go out in the mornings, looking for water-laden sparkling spider webs.

Not sure if this is just me or if there really are more webs now. I did some research and found that late August and early September are spider love season. Indoor and outdoor spiders spin their most intricate, impressive webs with the hope that their ladylove will be awed and come on over. Huge outdoor webs are spun by fully grown garden spiders. All the webs are magnificent, delicate as lace, intricate, precise, amazing.

Garden spider web

Last year Dan and I spent a few days camping at an Alabama state park. We were on an 8-mile hike when we ran into two park rangers. The rangers were due to give a nature talk and were looking for a topic. One ranger held a broken off branch containing a Golden Orb Spider and web. Turning the web, they showed us its golden tones. Breathtaking.

Looking for spider webs reveals other wonders. October of last year found Dan and me on a month-long camping trip, landing us on the doorstep of our son and daughter-in-law soon after the birth of our grandson. Along the way, I found heart-shaped stones, surf-pounded heart-shaped coral and shells. I was tuned in, alert, thinking of our upcoming joy.

These wonders are free; they are uplifting. During a time when the state of the world can leave one paralyzed, when going to the grocery store rarely prices out under $100, it’s good to remember there’s joy-producing entertainment to be had, joy that can unleash us, help us carry on, give us hope and help us contribute to life.

Almost stepped on this lovely fellow!

The beginning sentence of Charles Dickens’ classic A Tale of Two Cities, starts with “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. ….” Political divides, unrest around the globe, Ukraine, China, pandemics – it can be discouraging, but no matter what is going on, wonders are there to discover. The world holds so much – all free, requiring only attention, and that knowledge helps me hold on to the first part of that quote – “It was the best of times.”

Cindy Arp retired from Knox County Schools as a teacher and librarian. She and husband Dan live in Heiskell. And she goes hiking once a week – even in a forest fire.


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