I know next to nothing about spiders. Wish I did. I would like to know what kind of spiders have been at work in our shrubbery. I would like to know if they are even spiders. Whatever they are they are artists.
Among the temptations of owning a digital camera, even a cheap and unreliable one like mine, is the temptation to literary laziness. No point describing what I have a picture of, is there? These spiders have laced and fogged the bushes with amazing webwork. Cobweb doesn't do their art and architecture justice. At first glace it looks like wisps and curls of fog have frozen in the leaves and between the branches. Step closer and you can see that the spiders have built in three dimensions. They've crafted baskets, tea cups and saucers, satellite dishes (with central antennae), vases, jars, parachutes right side up and upside down, birds' nests, model comets, model clouds, and elaborate whimsical parodies of, well, spider webs.
I took these pictures outside our house one fine summer morning and the temptation was to just post them with a note: Ain't these neat?
Well, ain't they?
But what are they?
Are there any professional or amateur naturalists out there who can tell me what made these webs and whether or not we should knock them down to save the shrubs?
Or the house?
What if they get ambitious?
Might be a thousand aspiring arachnid Cristos at work out there and some morning we'll look out and find they've wrapped the whole house.