Spiders in my Head
Most People Are Afraid of Spiders
I know....Yes I know, most people don't like spiders, but have you ever had the chance to look a bit closer at spiders and the homes they build for themselves some even each day anew? The spider's world is actually very beautiful and very interesting. They catch their food alive (like we do), they clean it and eat it (like we do) and then they bring out the garbage (like we do). So our world is not so very different from the spider's world and that's fascinating, at least I think so.
What Is so Fascinating About Old Cobwebs?
There Were Spiders in My Barn
I just love cobwebs and it all started when we bought our little old farmhouse with a big barn some 30 + years ago. The barn inside hadn't been cleaned out for several years I guess, because it was filled with lots of old dusty cobwebs. I didn't care and didn't remove them either while we were reconstructing the old farm house. Spiders are useful creatures, they keep the flies and mosquitos away.
Only when I got my first Kodak digital camera I took a greater interest in the webs and discovered they were actually beautiful and fascinating to look at through the lens of the camera.
None of the native spiders in my country (The Netherlands) are dangerous or poisonous. It seems some can bite, but I've never experienced that myself. Spiders actually have a well organized household, they even put the trash out most of the time.
So... relax, sit back and read and watch. I hope you'll enjoy my presentation, despite the fact that spiders might freak you out. Keep in mind that the spiders you might see here, can't hurt you anyway. They won't jump off the screen you know.
Detail of a Spider's Web
Spiderwebs Are Beautiful If You Take a Closer Look
I got my first digital camera, a little Kodak and of course I wanted to take pictures to see how it worked. So I walked into the barn where those old spider webs were hanging. I hadn't taken them out when we moved in, we had our hands full at the house. The light from the window peeked through those webs and they looked like old, but dirty lace, so I started taking pictures. It wasn't until I had put them on my pc and was watching them at full screen size, that I saw beauty in those old, dirty webs. I started to play around with my new photo editing program Paint Shop Pro and I was playing with detail selections of this photo and enlarged them a bit. It was then that I said WOW, I'm entering a whole new world here.
Some of the Old Cobwebs in My Barn
Even More Fascinating Is What the Spiders Leave Behind
It often is not only the spider or the cobweb that rouses my interest, but maybe even more so what the spiders leave behind. You can learn a lot from exploring a spider's web. We humans often forget to look for the beauty in little things and there's a story behind everything.
Wasp in a Cobweb
Do Spiders and Their Webs Fascinate You Too?
Funnel Spider's Web
Some Spiders Hide in a Funnel
Building a Trap Net
Our Native Funnel Spiders Are Not That Big
Our native funnel spiders are rather small if you compare them to species in other countries like for instance in the USA and Australia. But nevertheless they scare the hell out of a lot of people. They're black, hairy and fast.
The Black Hairy House Spider
The Black Hairy Spiders Catch Their Prey by Surprise
There are those big, black and hairy spiders which even scare the hell out of me if they come too close, despite the fact that they are totally harmless. Still I find them really interesting to look at (from a distance). Once one had built her web in a windowsill in a small barn and I have followed her movements for quite some time. Unfortunately it was before I had my digital camera so I have no pictures. Whatever prey she caught, when she had finished her dinner, she wrapped the remains in silk and hung it over the edge of the windowsill. That was her garbage bin. So I could see what she had eaten that day. She stayed there, until one day I noticed a soft round package in her web and that was a bundle of eggs. At that moment I thought it was time to clean house and I brought her and her package outside. To watch one was fun, but to watch a few hundred in the near future not so.
Spiders are Cannibals
Spiders are cannibals. The females eat their spouses and they eat each other when they have a chance.
In the photo below a funnel spider made very good use of her partner, she decorated her house with him.
Dead Spider in Web
It was on a day, a very hot day. I think it was June, oh anyway
I came across like a Halloween treat, a spider who could read.
I was amazed and somewhat dazed, apparently my eyebrows raised,
The spider whispered with a smile: "Oh there you are, I've waited a while.
Please tell me dear and without fear, where I can find a library here?
I know you don't believe your eyes, but I am special, I don't eat flies".
I pointed out while laughing loud that libraries were nowhere about,
but she could read my books in stead and even eat a crumb of bread.
So on this day, this very hot day, I showed this spider all the way
into my room where books were kept. She said she was ever in my dept.
From this day on, honestly Hon, the spider stayed, was never gone,
Invited me to her home one day, which was spooky in a way.
I woke that day in a peculiar way, from a nap I took on a stack of hay.
I had been dreaming in the heat about a spider who could read.
Though in my head the thought had spread. What....if the spider wasn't dead
that I had taken a picture of, but truly had read the book instead?
A Spider Who Could Read?
Poll about Spiders
Are You Scared Yet?
Spiders in Their Web - Waiting for Their Prey
Spider's Web Art
A spider is an Artist
Every night a spider builds a new home. One could ask how she has time to catch food and eat and survive in between.
You might have noticed that when you destroy (accidentally or on purpose) a spider's web, she almost immediately starts to build a new one. That's in her genes, she can't help it and her instinct says she has to do that.
Spider Church Art
Spider Bottle Art
Spider Free Art
Spider Glass Art
Spider Jewelry Art
Spider Construction Art
Spider Motion Art
Spider Web Art
So Now You Know
Where My Passion for Cobwebs Comes From
So this is what happened after I got my first digital camera and stumbled upon those dirty old spider webs in my barn. It's a disease. I see spiders and spider's webs everywhere. It's an addiction of which I don't want to recover. It's harmless and it's beautiful.
I'm not a professional photographer, I'm just a lady with a camera. My photos are not always of perfect quality, but they carry my soul. At least that's what I'm trying to accomplish and if I only reach one other soul, then I've reached my goal.
I blame my dad. He taught me to look beyond the obvious, but I'm so glad he did. If he hadn't taught me that, I would have missed so much beauty. He said:
'There's beauty in everything, you only have to see it.
Don't look with your eyes, look with your heart and all the beauty in the little things will come to you".
He was so right, my dad.
I Published a Book with Poems About Spiders
We have a big Critter Friendly Garden and of course it's the home of a lot of spiders. Most spiders you don't see till the end of August, when nature starts slowly to make preparations for her winter holiday. Most of them are what we call the Cross Spiders, or as Wikipedia calls them: the European Garden Spiders.
This photo is photoshopped on. I made it for my book Spiders in my Head, one of a series of photography and poetry books I wrote and published.
Poll - Tell Me If My Spider Story Made a Difference - in the Way You Thought About Spiders
Maybe Now You Understand Why I'm Addicted to Photographing Everything Spider?
© 2012 Titia Geertman