February 27th – Droplets

Holding water

Today started out ok. The air was a little thick and humid.

And then the heavens opened. You could call it a deluge, with a modest 8mm of rain falling in 10 minutes. And as if by some cruel coincidence, smack bang on Sydney’s peak hour.

So while Sydney’s common sense road etiquette fell to bits around us, you have to stop to admire the strength of the Common Garden Orb Weaver spiders web. These things copped an absolute belting from the rain, yet held firm.

Make no mistake, they feel as tough as rope if you’re unfortunate enough to walk through one. In fact the best advice to escape one is to stop and walk backwards.

There are two of these webs in our driveway. Each night their owners come out and reconstruct their homes, about shoulder-and-a-half height from the ground. Any lower and I get my big web-breaking stick and give these spiders a less than subtle hint.

And these webs don’t just break, they stretch until they literally snap.

I’m not sure if there have been any studies into these spiders, but this is definitely a symbiotic relationship. While the webs are seriously impressive feats of engineering, the spiders have learned to allow enough space so they don’t confront the big web breaking stick, and the prospect of a night going hungry.


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