Summer Frost

Out in the yard today there was what looked like frost, which is a nice trick considering the current temperature is sixty five, on its way to almost ninety. A closer examination, however, revealed that the yard is filled with thousands upon thousands of these:

As you can see from the blades of grass for reference, these are teeny-weeny little webs. Get enough of them all in one space, beaded with dew, however, and there you have it: Summer frost. It won’t last long — the dew is alreay evaporating — but it’s a pretty effect while it’s there. Pretty for me, that is; I doubt the little bugs these webs were spun to ensnare would agree with me, if they had enough brains to have an opinion, which they don’t. It’s hard out there for a tiny bug.

17 thoughts on “Summer Frost

  1. It may be tough for an individual bug, but it’s not like we’re going to run out of them.

    That is a very pretty picture!

  2. Of course, if the spiders have sufficiently large brains — which they don’t — they will be creating webs that make the little bugs think exactly that: “Oh! What a pretty thing that is! I must investigate further by taking a much, much closer look!”

    I think the big-brained bugs will think “ugh! Web!” But the tiny-brained bugs will think, “ooooh! shiny!”

    But, on the other hand, perhaps it’s best not to unduly deconstruct the neo-freudo-darwinian meaning of the thought processes of the arachnidal and insectidal world.

    Exegesis of ephemerally dew-laden spiderwebs was never my strong point.

  3. It’s all very cute until you find yourself at the wrong end of a shrink ray (damn you, Rick Moranis) and the yard becomes a nightmare maze of eight-legged horrors.

    I hate it when that happens.

  4. But do any of them say “SOME PIG”?

    (This is not a backhanded way of bringing bacon into the matter.

    …well, I guess it is now.)

  5. Don’t waste too many tears on the bugs. It’s plain from the scale and location that the spiders are working together to bring down bigger prey. Best not stray too far from the walk for a while…

  6. I was spring some of the flowers we have in hanging baskets with the hose set on mist and everywhere the mist hit you would see these webs.

    I walked down the yard spraying and the lawn was covered in them. Freakiest thing.

  7. Oh god.

    It’s lovely, really. And I’m sure a yard full of them would look magical in the morning dew. But I can’t control my revulsion at the thought of thousands of spiders in my yard. The only reason I can bear the thought that our damp, dirty cellar is full of spiders is because they very rarely put in an appearance elsewhere in the house, and my husband and son generously volunteer to do all tasks that require a trip belowstairs. If I’d ever seen what you saw in the yard, I doubt I’d be able to bring myself to go sit out under the trees with my tea and knitting again, or at least not until the first strong frost.

  8. Many years ago I took a photo of a slightly larger web that had been spun in just a few hours one evening by a very ambitious spider. There was a small stand of very tall grass and one seed stalk was bent over in the perfect arc for the spider to work her magic. Took the photo with only the light from my headlights, which was how I spotted it!

  9. Mark @#3: Isn’t that how the advertising industry works? Heck, maybe it really IS run by spiders with slightly bigger brains.

  10. Well, I guess you won’t have so many mosquitoes to worry about.

    Meanwhile, a spider has apparently decided that my car is the perfect place to put webs. Whenever I open or go through a car door, I end up covered with them.

  11. Auuuuuuuuugh! It’s the Very Small Distributed Arachnid Array! They’re going to summon the mothership… Eight legged motherships of Dooooom

  12. A while ago I had the pleasure of seeing a web being spun live here at my work place (you know, the place where I shouldn’t be reading the interwebs). The web was attached to my laptop and suspended all the way to the ceiling.
    I admired the little spider that was obviously so much more industrious than me.

    Of course when it was five thirty I was all ‘Ooh! time to go home!’ and destroyed the poor animal’s day’s work in one movement.

  13. Industrious indeed — in recent hiking, I’ve seen webs spun across river “valleys” large enough to warrant bridges.

    And yeah, life’s tough when you’re a bug. Not much better for the spiders, either. (Have fun watching the birds!)

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