The circle of life smacked me in the face last Saturday morning.
I was soaking my aching legs in our cold spa after a short run and looked at a tree branch hanging over the corner of our backyard. A single leaf fluttered in the air without falling to the ground, and there was a big, dark blob near it. After getting out and drying off my legs, I got closer to the blob and could see it was a huge spider.
Can you say “photo op?” I certainly did! I ran inside the house and grabbed my camera equipment.
I quickly snapped the top photo. As I was trying to figure out how to get a better shot lightingwise, I saw a dragonfly hovering nearby. When it stopped moving, I realized that the poor thing was caught in what was a huge, nearly invisible web. Suddenly I found myself in the middle of a National Geographic documentary.
Before I could react, the battle between life and death was over. The spider quickly moved to the dragonfly to inject it and paralyze it. Gruesome yet fascinating.
At first I thought I should try to save the dragonfly by knocking down the web. But I must admit that the possibility I might inadvertently cause the spider to fall on me totally cut that idea short. Gross!
Later that day when I checked on the spider and the dragonfly, I saw that the arachnid had used the web to tightly wrap up its meal. Spidey was hanging on a thread and occasionally seemed to snack on the remains.
And that fluttering leaf that had caught my eye, alerting me to the presence of a spider web? Ironically, it also was wrapped up with the d-fly.