Spiders and I have had, well, an interesting relationship. Mostly consisting of me running screaming from rooms. In recent years I have adopted a "you stay out of my space, I'll stay out of yours" attitude and it seems to be working out much better for both of us.
I can now get up close enough to see amazing details like the in progress web above. Details like these are not only beautiful to look at but also spark my curiosity to learn more.
Wound around with the utmost care, this seemingly delicate spider silk is actually five times stronger than steel. And did you know there are seven different kinds of silk? There's eggsack, swathing, drag line, attaching, non-sticky, sticky, and the sticky part that makes the silk sticky. All serving their own function to help the spiders live their lives.
For these reasons, and many more, I now reach for a cup and a piece of stiff paper when I see a spider in my house instead of reaching for a shoe. Now if I could only figure out how to have the same attitude towards snakes...
*Last time in Nature: Picking Blackberries