September 29, 2009
Spider silk tapestry.
a tapestry from spider silk. Now on
American Museum of Natural History
. Spider. Silk. really. caution for the phobic: links contain images of spiders
5 years ago
Spiders are cool and
sometimes hang out with important people.
That said, the fabric is gorgeous. I'd love to touch it. BTW I like spiders. There's one in my bathroom right now, catching flies left over from summer. She's lovely and dignified, doesn't bother anyone (other than the flies of course) and is quite tidy. We chat while I take my morning shower. I wish all my guests were as pleasant to have around.
I just had a dream last night that I was walking along and I walked my face right into a spider web. I immediately fell to the ground. When I looked up, I could see that there were several giant spider webs surrounding me that were just a few feet away. It was like there was a tent of spider webs around me. Someone was on the outside, and I was screaming for help. That person didn't really know how to get rid of the spider webs. I told the person to grab a stick and to use the stick to go around the perimeter of the web to take it down. Then I woke up.
would make a super Superhero cape.
Oh, man, that is just beautiful. Who woulda thunk it. Poly, you come up with the best posts! Spiders are OK with me, usually, but there is a great big black widow by the horse feed in the barn, and I can't seem to whack the bugger when she's out. One of these days...POW!
Spider silk was used in the original
Wasn't there a scifi story about a spider silk 'ladder' into space--something like the proposed space elevator?
That would be
by Brian Aldiss.
these interplanetary spiders were called traversers...
Teaching goats to make spider silk
– genetically engineered to produce spider silk in their milk.
Well done, Dan. I knew I wasn't loosing my mind!
*blushes* Thanks BlueHorse
An Epiphany I have seen the Brown Recluse Spider run with a net in her hand, or rather, what resembled a net, what resembled a hand. She ran down the gleaming white floor of the bathtub, trailing a frail swirl of hair, and in it the hull of a beetle lay woven. The hair was my wife’s, long and dark, a few loose strands, a curl she might idly have turned on a finger, she might idly have twisted, speaking to me, and the legs of the beetle were broken.
Design Robert Frost I found a dimpled spider, fat and white, On a white heal-all, holding up a moth Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth-- Assorted characters of death and blight Mixed ready to begin the morning right, Like the ingredients of a witches' broth-- A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth, And dead wings carried like a paper kite. What had that flower to do with being white, The wayside blue and innocent heal-all? What brought the kindred spider to that height, Then steered the white moth thither in the night? What but design of darkness to appall?-- If design govern in a thing so small. I know lately Frost has been poo-pooed as a poet, but I still like him.
Popularity, well ... a fribble, another of our fleeting fads and fancies. Frost's work will doubtless survive his detractors.
i have just been reading an advertisement of a certain roach exterminator the human race little knows all the sadness it causes in the insect world i remember some weeks ago meeting a middle aged spider she was weeping what is the trouble i asked her it is these cursed fly swatters she replied they kill of all the flies and my family and i are starving to death it struck me as so pathetic that i made a little song about it as follows to wit twas an elderly mother spider grown gaunt and fierce and gray with her little ones crouched beside her who wept as she sang this lay curses on these here swatters what kills off all the flies for me and my little daughters unless we eats we dies swattin and swattin and swattin tis little else you hear and we ll soon be dead and forgotten with the cost of living so dear my husband he up and left me lured off by a centipede and he says as he bereft me tis wrong but i ll get a feed and me a working and working scouring the streets for food faithful and never shirking doing the best i could curses on these here swatters what kills off all the flies me and my poor little daughters unless we eats we dies only a withered spider feeble and worn and old and this is what you do when you swat you swatters cruel and cold i will admit that some of the insects do not lead noble lives but is every man s hand to be against them yours for less justice and more charity archy
--Don Marquis, "pity the poor spiders"
Come bees, let us step out. Whotthehell, there's a dance left in the old dame yet!
*eyes the neat fetlocks of BlueHorse* /bee-dazzled
The Spider's Web The spider, dropping down from twig, Unfolds a plan of her devising, A thin premeditated rig To use in rising. And all that journey down through space, In cool descent and loyal hearted, She spins a ladder to the place From where she started. Thus I, gone forth as spiders do In spider's web a truth discerning, Attach one silken thread to you For my returning.
--E. B. White
A noiseless, patient spider, I mark'd, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated; Mark'd how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding, It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself; Ever unreeling them--ever tirelessly speeding them. And you, O my Soul, where you stand, Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,--seeking the spheres, to connect them; Till the bridge you will need, be form'd--till the ductile anchor hold; Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.
The Cool Web Children are dumb to say how hot the day is, How hot the scent is of the summer rose, How dreadful the black wastes of evening sky, How dreadful the tall soldiers drumming by, But we have speech, to chill the angry day, And speech, to dull the roses's cruel scent, We spell away the overhanging night, We spell away the soldiers and the fright. There's a cool web of language winds us in, Retreat from too much joy or too much fear: We grow sea-green at last and coldly die In brininess and volubility. But if we let our tongues lose self-possession, Throwing off language and its watery clasp Before our death, instead of when death comes, Facing the wide glare of the children's day, Facing the rose, the dark sky and the drums, We shall go mad, no doubt, and die that way.
The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet Little Miss Muffet discovered a tuffet, (Which never occurred to the rest of us) And, as 'twas a June day, and just about noonday, She wanted to eat - like the rest of us: Her diet was whey, and I hasten to say It is wholesome and people grow fat on it. The spot being lonely, the lady not only Discovered the tuffet, but sat on it. A rivulet gabbled beside her and babbled, As rivulets always are thought to do, And dragon flies sported around and cavorted, As poets say dragon flies ought to do; When, glancing aside for a moment, she spied A horrible sight that brought fear to her, A hideous spider was sitting beside her, And most unavoidably near to her! Albeit unsightly, this creature politely Said: "Madam, I earnestly vow to you, I'm penitent that I did not bring my hat. I Should otherwise certainly bow to you." Thought anxious to please, he was so ill at ease That he lost all his sense of propriety, And grew so inept that he clumsily stept In her plate - which is barred in Society. This curious error completed her terror; She shuddered, and growing much paler, not Only left tuffet, but dealt him a buffet Which doubled him up in a sailor knot. It should be explained that at this he was pained: He cried: "I have vexed you, no doubt of it! Your fists's like a truncheon." "You're still in my luncheon," Was all that she answered. "Get out of it!" And the Moral is this: Be it madam or miss To whom you have something to say, You are only absurd when you get in the curd But you're rude when you get in the whey.
--Guy Wetmore Carryl
*absurd all the time*
When spiders are prey
The Spider Awards
to prime ye for Halloween.
Here's one a trifle old-fashioned in both presentation and diction:
Arachne I watch her in the corner there, As restless, bold, and unafraid, She slips and floats along the air Till all her subtle house is made. Her home, her bed, her daily food All from that hidden store she draws; She fashions it and knows it good By instinct's strong and sacred laws. No tenuous threads to weave her nest, She seeks and gathers there or here; But spins it from her faithful breast, Renewing still, till leaves are sere. Then, worn with toil and tired of life, In vain her shining traps are set. Her frost hath hushed the insect strife And gilded flies her charm forget. But swinging in the snares she spun, She sways to every wintry wind: Her joy, her toil, her errand done, Her corse the sport of storms unkind. Poor sister of the spinster clan! I too from out my store within My daily life and living plan, My home, my rest, my pleasure spin. I know thy heart when heartless hands Sweep all that hard-earned web away: Destroy its pearled and glittering bands, And leave thee homeless by the way. I know thy peace when all is done. Each anchored thread, each tiny knot, Soft shining in the autumn sun; A sheltered, silent, tranquil lot. I know what thou hast never known, -Sad presage to a soul allowed;- That not for life I spin, alone. But day by day I spin my shroud.
--Rose Terry Cooke
Mr. BlueHorse often catches spiders in a jar and releases them outside. I tend to follow the lead of the fella in this poem if they're in my shower: The Spying Spider Don Tidwell My bathtub is my haven When I've had a busy day. The soothing steamy water Seems to soak my cares away. Imagine my chagrin one night When hiding from it all, To see a big black spider Clinging to the blue tile wall. He ignored my keen displeasure As he yo yo'd on his line--- He was practicing rapelling And his technique seemed just fine. I sensed that he was spying On my privileged retreat.... That he thought my shiny earlobe Might be something good to eat. He crawled around his universe Inspecting every tile, Then climbed upon his special perch To watch me for awhile. We played the game of "chicken".. I matched him stare for stare. He suddenly got careless When he thought I didn't care. I snatched that interloper... His chance to live was gone!! I wrapped him in a tissue And flushed him down the john!!
from attic to cellar we have spiders but most especially in the older parts of the house they like the kitchen where the fruit flies gather hovering above the compost or the late-ripening fruits along the windowsills bathrooms too are popular being water sources for the moths and other venturesome critters who come inside so there's not a single room without its quota of spiders and uninvited biota
Get excited – spider silk finally looks ready for commercialization