One thing leads to another

If there’s one drawback with digital cameras, it is this:  that they allow you – nay, encourage you to take a gazillion photos in the wink of an eye – and then you have to spend the rest of your life sorting them, renaming them, filing them, editing them, looking for that one special photo that you know is in there somewhere because you came across it just the other day, etc etc etc … I’m sure you’ve all been through this as well, unless you’re incredibly organised, in which case, I congratulate you!

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Dew-covered orb spider web

I’ve been going through some of my photos this evening, and discovered that I have quite a number of shots of spider webs; which set me to thinking about what industrious little workers spiders are, spinning all those webs, eating all those flies, and having lots and lots and LOTS of babies … Did you know that some larger spiders lay over 2,000 eggs? 2,000???!!! Holy moley, that’s a lot of eggs – and they talk about rabbits being prodigious breeders!! 

I also got to thinking about how spiders are able to span large distances with their webs, and I wondered how they did that … So once again I consulted my good friends at Google, who came up with about 47,400,000 results in 0.17 seconds, in the way they always do, and I discovered that it’s the wind that helps spiders to do this:  they release a sticky thread which blows away in the wind, and once it sticks, forming a bridge, the spider then travels over it reinforcing with a second line as it goes, and the rest, as they say, is history … Well, not quite, but you can read more about the construction of a spider web here:

An orb web (such as that pictured above) must be replaced every few days because it loses its stickiness (and its ability to entrap food).  The largest aerial webs can measure up to 6 metres (18 feet 9 inches) in circumference (yikes!  what on earth are they catching with a web that size???), and the smallest webs cover a mere 4.84 square centimetres, or about 0.75 square inches.  And if you want to find out how many different types of webs there are, there’s some great information on this website:

 Spider
And I’m sorry, but I’ve got a few more did-you-knows to share:  Did you know that spider silk is actually stronger than steel? Isn’t that incredible?  And, which I find even more amazing, it is also five times as impact-resistant as bulletproof Kevlar!  Did you know that there are actually bird-eating spiders in South America and also Australia?  (I knew there was a reason why I have no desire to visit South America … At least in Australia I’ve got the rellies to protect me 🙂 )  Did you know that worldwide there are 37,500 different species of spider known ( by comparison, there are only 9,000 species of birds and 4,000 species of mammals)?  New Zealand has at least 2,500 species, but only 1,300 have a scientific name.   For more fascinating facts about spiders (including the information that they have 48 “knees” – 8 legs with 6 joints in each), see the Landcare Research website at http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/resources/teaching/Insects-and-spiders/spiders/some-fascinating-facts-about-spiders (but be warned, it has a rather scary picture of a big, fat spider on the web page! 🙂 )
 
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They’re real masterpieces of construction, aren’t they?
 
And now that I’ve either bored or scared you all to death, I’m going to love you and leave you!   Look out for those man bird-eating spiders, won’t you 😉 😉
 
 
 
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One thought on “One thing leads to another

  1. I am so with you re digital cameras and the problem of too many photos! Very difficult deciding on which single one of 10 similar photos is the one to keep!

    Reply

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