On Being A Butterfly

Spider Web photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania

When you spend thousands of hours seeking butterflies, you’re also thinking of what they see, feel and of how they experience their world? Each of us navigates our lives uniquely. Me? I had to handle the streets mostly alone, had to handle threat alone, and had to do so effectively. I used to watch/study kids who had it differently, no solitude, no risk (I could discern) and no near total absence of m$oney.

So I personalize (a bit) the much short lives of butterflies. We know they have perils in their homes, though 99.98% of folks never think butterflies face danger.

This extraordinary spider’s web, seen on an early Pennsylvania morning, it bejeweled with morning dew drops, curtails such thought, that butterflies flitter around, free of fear, free of risk. I’ve seen them hanging from such webs, and often wonder if my disabled hearing (right ear) prevents me from hearing a plea, a faint called for ‘h..e..l..p.’

Raystown Lake, central Pennsylvania, U.S.A..


Where Have All the Argiopes Gone?

Black and Yellow Argiope Spider photographed in  Raystown Lake, PA
Yes, there are fewer and fewer shopping days left before Christmas and Chanukah is a day away. We are time challenged to doing it all, and everyday, mundane stuff just can’t be suffered. Still, striving to keep our minds fertile and challenged, comes this question, Where have all of the Black and Yellow Argiopes gone?

Do these large spiders spend the winter in cavities found in trees? Have they slipped into the living quarters of Native Americans since time immemorial, and are they now hidden in that crack in your neighbor’s foundation? Do impregnated females spend the winter tucked away in corners of squirrel’s nests? Or, have they for centuries joined hundreds of thousands of their species, in a march to Florida, that begins taking shape in late September?

What these colorful spiders do is, the females produce a sac, place their fertilized eggs in the sac, and then all of these mothers . . . die. Those eggs hatch, and the spiderlings in each sac stay in  the sac, throughout the winter. No LL Bean thinsulate-lined outerwear for them. With Spring 2015 fully established, they leave the sac, and find their new home.

Adult will grow, and yes, they will prey upon butterflies. So it has alway been.


A Spider’s Web Crafted Along the Water’s Edge

Spider Web photographed in Raystown Lake, PA

Stunning! Our early morning visit to Raystown Lake in central Pennsylvania found dozens of displays of artwork along the water’s edge. Each supported who knows how many droplets of water. Prisms all, they dazzled and titillated.

Which artisans worked to craft these? Were they meant to be disassembled and rebuilt again? We didn’t stop to learn whether this was the work of Black and Yellow Argiopes or of the several species of Orbweavers.

These bejeweled webs do claim countless butterflies. That is reason enough to post it here on wingedbeauty.com. This has been the story since the beginning. So in the end this is our world.

How much time have we spent trying to understand how spiders meticulously construct such webs and, how their delicate proteins hold all but the largest of insects, even after countless minutes spent flaying away to attempt escape.

Why do you photograph butterflies, I’m asked? Because of their beauty. It surpasses the finest work of the world’s premier jewelry artisans. So too this gorgeous web demands….Stop and take a look!