Science & Nature

Empty web

Here, I wrote about my little friend, the spider. After many weeks of watching his peculiar and delightful life, I discovered that he was gone. The only trace that he had ever been there is the wreckage of his web.

What happened to him? Was he eaten? Did he skedaddle after a moth massacred his web? I’ll never know, but there is a haunting loveliness to the broken geometry of his carefully constructed home. The heart of the web, that place where he would pluck the filaments to further ensnare flies, is gone. The long filaments that anchored the web’s heart in mid-air are all that remain, runners that begin to thicken with dust.

I thought of clearing these scarcely noticeable remains, but something in me says wait. Perhaps he is in hiding after a middle-of-the-night attack that failed. Maybe little spider will return, rebuild. Or perhaps time will turn over those last strands to other creatures, bugs or birds adapted to recycling abandoned spider webs.

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