Sunday, November 21, 2010

Silk Parachutes

Did you know that some spiders can fly?

There is a spider that can create a tiny parachute out of her lightweight web material. She will wait for a breeze to catch her and carry her vast distances, to some unknown some unknown fate. A new life in a completely unpredictable environment.

Scientists have found them way up the earth's atmosphere. Sometimes over great ocean bodies. When a volcano has decimated miles and miles of landscape, the first living creature that is sometimes discovered in these barren rocky wastelands are these tiny spiders.

That is a hopeful, optimistic little spider! Who knew they could be so adventurous?

Personally, I don't think I could live that way. I am too much of a homebody. As much as I love and fiercely protect my freedom, I don't like the feeling of being untethered. Without roots. I like to know where I belong.

But it does seem so fantastical, doesn't it? To be wisped away on a gentle current, your white silky parachute freewheeling through the upper atmosphere like a dandelion seed blown from its stem. Swirling and curling here and there until a sudden stillness gently releases you to a new garden, a new coastline, a new mountain top.... where you begin again. The world, a whole new oyster. And if you don't like your new digs, just make another parachute!

I wish I could coax the spiders that live in my house to try this way of life.


  1. Flying spiders??? Oh my stars... that gives me the creepys! :( But your photos are beautiful! :)

    Happy Sunday Evening Jaime!
    xo Catherine

  2. really ? you're a homebody, too ? i wouldn't have thought that about you.

    i'm not as adventurous as i'd like to be....i try sometimes, but it doesn't really work. i'm a planner and an organizer....

    so that spider could teach me a few things, too :)

  3. i didn't know spiders could fly. i always learn something fascinating here. it's one of the things i love about your blog.
    i'd like to think i'm adventurous but i am not near so much as i would like to be.

    your photos are amazing - i love that you captured that bit of iridescence in the first one.

  4. ahh yes, little spiders on their adventure - seeing the world with just the webs on their backs. i miss that about our society now that i'm so bogged down by things that i don't want to venture out. i wonder what we would be if we all did that....vagabonds and happy? i would hope...but often they are taken with suspicion.

    wonderful words - gorgeous photographs.

  5. Oh how I love spiderwebs infused with glitter. Sitting by my back window watching baby spiders, who are barely visible to the eye, patiently weave magic out of thin air fills me with awe. How do they know to do this from birth? With no teacher?

    Artistic's amazing.

    And I love your imagery of spiders with gypsy souls parachuting to exotic destinations, following their bliss.

    I wonder if I fashioned miniature parachutes could I convince mine that adventure is good for them?

  6. i was just watching tv and someone - a bioengineer, i think, was talking about how webbing is stronger than steel and we have not cracked the code on duplicating this amazing fiber :-) so fun to hear about the parachute! and your photos are wonderful, love the grays & greens :-)

  7. You know what? You are one of those people whom the more you get to know, the more you love them.

  8. Maybe you could tell your spiders about Oregon and a cute little dog named Atlas. I like spiders so they would be welcome here.

    It does seem fantastical and adventurous and brave (considering spiders seem so small). I do love adventure, but I love my home most of all. I like long stretches of home between adventures.

  9. this is so fascinating. i never knew. i just want to melt into these photos.

  10. Magical..and such exquisite detail. Interesting about the spider..always something new.

  11. You have such a beautiful view of the word. These photos are pure magic.

  12. I did know that some spiders can parachute/fly long distances, but I've never thought of them quite the way you describe them, and I'm loving the thought of being such an adventurous spider. I'm pulled between wanderlust and my homebody tendencies. I love to travel, but I also love long stretches of time spent close to home. In another time I think I would have been some kind of nomadic hermit! :) Fortunately, I married another such soul, so we get on quite well.

    Your photos, Jaime, are just stunning.

  13. oh man, but i am jealous of these little spiders. homebody that i am, travel phobia that i have, i would LOVE (yes, i am shouting it out!) to be whisked away for a bit, to let the breezes & winds make all my decisions for me. of course, i would like to come home again (after a while), and therein lies the rub. :)

    thank you for this.

    :) Debi

  14. These are breathtaking, I still have days where I think i'd like to be one of them but most of the time I also like to have my feet firmly placed on terra firma.