A few days ago, I walked into the kitchen slightly earlier than normal.
Suspended between two objects on the counter was an orb web highlighted by sunlight, the sunlight filtered between tree leaves and channeled by the window frame.
The spider had worked fast. At 2:00 a.m. I’d picked up the indoor-outdoor thermometer-base to check the outside temperature. At 6:30, the thermometer-base anchored one edge of a spider web.
Holes, or mis-weavings, marred the perfection and some strands along the outer edge were interrupted, or turned back on themselves.
A fruit fly hovered near the web. I rooted for the spider as changing light rendered the web invisible.
How does a tiny spider come to spin a web next to a fruit bowl?
Today, I transferred the photos onto the computer and, zoomed in, saw the web spiraled inward toward a nucleus like a minuscule fried egg which, for all I know, was some trick of light or an optical illusion magnified by the camera.
I never did see the spider and the web was ephemeral.
. . .
A year ago we camped in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, where the insect life was very different from in town:
by Katie Eberhart
Above, in the pines, warblers trill
and from the ground a click beetle launches
into asynchronous clacking flight. Maracas—
from lawn chairs we focus on our feet
surrounded by wildflowers where a green fly curls
on orange stamens and a delta-winged bug
(moth or fly?) settles into a white bloom.
Nearby, a dragonfly clutches
a red-skinned manzanita twig
as if a perpetuity of burnished copper, wings pounded
into a transparency of veins. Beneath the brazen sun
we strain to hear ants traipsing over talc-fine soil,
eggs in their mouths—exoticness we don’t see in town
beneath the dome of chemical comfort.
Antler Campground won Third Place in the Oregon Poetry Association, Fall 2012, Poetry Contest for Free Verse and was published in OPA’s 2012 Anthology, Verseweavers.
Poets: the mail-in deadline for the current Oregon Poetry Association poetry contest is August 31, 2013 (See the contest flyer). You don’t have to be a member or even live in Oregon to enter.
Or check the National Federation of State Poetry Societies web site to see if your state has a poetry association and contest!
Abby Kellner-Rode said:
Happy to read another posting. I have also wondered and admired spider webs, seemingly appearing from nowhere. Beautiful as they catch the light, or a bit of moisture, always reminding one of the finest of silk. The poem was evocative, as usual, and beautiful. Your photos are lovely. Thanks for sharing! See you soon!
Carrie Gordon said:
HI, Katie – Thank you for the written and visual image of your early morning visitor. I enjoy reading your work. Enjoy the day! cg
Katie Eberhart said:
Thanks for the comment! And for finding a moment to visit my blog while on your travels!
The best spider webs, whether on the kitchen counter or outside and strung with dew-drops, are for the early-risers to see unlike the messy masses of webs plastered throughout the arbor vitae like some (alternate?) spun universe–durable, and visible any time of day.
See you soon,
Katie Eberhart said:
Thanks, Carrie. Nice to hear from you.
Hope you’re having a fine summer.
Bridgette Preston said:
Great spider web observations and pictures. Congratulations on your third place finish in the Oregon Poetry competition. That was a wonderful poem about insects….all the Alaskan mosquitoes this summer haven’t inspired me to write any poetry, or at least not any that is publishable.
Nice to see a post from you. I’ve been wondering if I’d missed seeing some.
Katie Eberhart said:
Thanks for the comment. I doubt you missed any posts. The last couple months, instead of blogging, I was revising my Alaska essays. In March and April, I had been doing both but to finish the revisions before summer was too far gone, I focused on the essays.
If you missed Procrastination, Deletions, and Questions of Intent, you might find it interesting — posted while I was working on the essay revisions.
Now, I’m back to blogging!