My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Monday, November 22, 2010

Spider Art

We've been having several days of bitterly cold temps (subzero to single digits) along with freezing fog and snow. The frozen moisture in the air has coated everything with thick hoarfrost, a pretty phenomenon we're used to seeing in January or February, but not in November! But maybe it's fitting that midway between Halloween and Christmas we're getting to admire several flocked spiderwebs. :-)                                 

Here are some of the pretty results of this artistic collaboration between Charlotte (weaver) and Jack Frost (painter)...

(Click on the photos to better see the details)

Several spiderwebs under our deck

Closeup of part of the above photo (this one's my favorite)

A web I hadn't even realized was outside this north window!
(Sneaky, busy little spider!)


  1. Those are really cool spider webs. I'm going to have to see if I find any like that when it gets a smidge colder. Maybe we don't get hoarfrost here-sounds awful.
    I am looking forward to sea smoke tho.
    Hope you're well.

  2. Very cool! The webs look like thick string with the frost all over them.

    Are the spiders still hanging around in them? Or do they take cover somewhere a little less exposed?

    I love spider webs; they are so beautiful and amazing to watch them being made.

    The weather sounds really harsh; I hope you all stay warm and cozy.

  3. Your photos are absolutely fantastic!! And while our weather isn't as cold here in the Pacific Northwest, I am getting a lovely couple of snow days thanks to Mother Nature. I had a spider in my shower this morning but I don't know if they eventually hibernate. I also had a hummingbird at my feeder, a very fat hummingbird I might add, and I hope to do a winter post shortly showing those photos. Meanwhile, do stay warm and safe!

  4. Laloofah -- Wonderful photos of the hoarfrost on the webs. Sublime beauty of nature.

    I read your post, The Still Point of Solstice, a 2009 post. You feel as strongly as I do about the solstice.The quotes and pictures were great.

    I do look forward to winter and the stillness it evokes. -- barbara

  5. Wow, Laurie, is that ever amazing! We get frost here quite a bit, but not that gorgeous!

    The weather there has been as much as a rollercoaster as here, it sounds like. We haven't had much below the 30's yet, but it looks like that's coming soon. I left work to very thick fog this afternoon, there have been thunderstorms all day and a tornado warning just a little south of us in Milwaukee. Craziness!

    I hope you & the family are keeping warm!

  6. Very cool spide web pix. We haven't had a hoarfrost here for quite a while. Actually our weather has been quite far! Sorry it's been so cold in the Big Horns!!

    Your cranberry recpies look great. My Mom always made the best cranberry relish and when I was a kid, I got to help make it by grinding the cranberries, oranges, etc. in this neat old grinder we had. I can still hear the "pop" of the cranberies when they were getting crushed. Ah, memories ;-).

    Hope you two have a peaceful, fun Thanksgiving filled with good grub and relaxation. Stay warm!!

  7. Sue ~ I don't know if you get hoarfrost there, but I don't recall ever seeing it during my winters in New England, and Mom would always get raised eyebrows and snickers when she'd mention hoarfrost in Montana to friends in Maine! The name may sound awful, but the phenomenon sure looks pretty!

    Rose ~ Aren't they? They remind me of Silly String! :-)

    I haven't seen any spiders or signs of spider activity since autumn. I don't know if they hibernate or perish come winter, and if they do survive till spring I have no idea what they find to eat.

    I agree that spider webs are fascinating to watch being made and beautiful to admire afterwards, and love how the hoarfrost really makes them stand out. Dew is beautiful on them too, but it's usually so dry here we don't get to see dew on spider webs too often.

    The weather is harsh, and though we never got the snow, winds and wind chills they'd predicted for last night and today, we did get the temps. Twenty below at 6 this morning, and a balmy 2ยบ above right now! The sunshine is really warming the house, though, and giving our overworked pellet stove a break! How are you icy roads? Did you stay home today?

    Daphne ~ I enjoyed your photos, and reading of your adventures in Winter Wonderland (as in, "I wonder when the electricity will come back on? I wonder why my generator isn't working? I wonder how I'm going to get warm?") I sure hope your power came back on and stayed on and you're staying warm and cozy today! And I hope that poor little hummingbird is able to stay warm somehow too. (Their little toes especially always look like they'd get awfully cold!)

  8. Thanks for your post and to answer some of the wonderings at 10:30AM on Wed. I do have a generator running which allows limited power for fridge, septic, lights, microwave, tv, computer and two small space heaters and I am now literally shaking from cold in my house of 54 degrees--Puget Sound says I'll get power today and I can't wait. Thankful for the generator but still freezing! But I am certainly better off than the hummingbirds!

  9. Barbara ~ Thank you, "sublime" is the perfect word for it!

    I'm so glad you read and enjoyed The Still Point of Solstice! I really enjoyed putting that post together and it's always nice to know that others share my reverence for the restful hush of winter. Guess winter's mpt something I need to be looking forward to anymore since it suddenly showed up in a big way. but I'm really enjoying the darkening advance toward the solstice.

    Molly ~ I'm glad you were able to enjoy the hoarfrost photos from the relative (if temporary) warmth of Wisconsin! :-) I hope our bitter temps don't land on you, I know how much you and Emma especially loathe it! That is indeed some seriously crazy weather you were having on Monday! What a strange time of year for thunderstorms and tornado warnings in your neck of the woods!

    Spud ~ So you get hoarfrost in Ohio? That's neat, I wasn't sure where else it occurs except out in these here northern Rocky Mountain parts! :-) I don't mind the cold temps much, I like it cozy. But BW, Mocha and the wild critters will probably appreciate every bit of your sympathy!

    Your cranberry relish-making memory is a sweet one! Don't suppose you know where that grinder ended up? If there's no chance you can get your mitts on it, you should get a similar one from some Amish supplier, make some similar memories for Kavi some day while getting to relive your own! I know that satisfying cranberry "pop" you speak of, some of them will do that as they're simmering and being stirred in the sauce recipe. :-)

    I wish you and CG a wonderful Thanksgiving too! We're having a double Thanksgiving - a vegan potluck get-together at Vistara's tomorrow afternoon (I'm bringing, among other things, a pumpkin pie - I'm trying out a new crust, so have a "dress rehearsal" pie in the oven right now!) Friday we'll have our own Thanksgiving dinner at home, with Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Scent of a Woman for our traditional entertainment. It's a little crazy right now trying to get ready for two Thanksgivings, but I'm sure "fun" and "peaceful" are certain to describe them! :-)

  10. Oh, poor Daphne. I hope they get the power restored soon!

    I think some of the spiders hide under the leaves for the winter, but I couldn't say for sure. I know some of them spend the winter inside with us. :)

    It does look like silly string!

  11. Daphne ~ I'm glad Loyd fixed your garage door and get your generator running, but am sorry that the space heaters it's powering aren't up to the task of keeping you warm! Pile on those pretty quilts, girl, and like Rose I'm hoping your power comes back on SOON!!

    Rose ~ Some of the smaller spiders seem to find refuge inside with us during the winter, too. :-) But the big ones that spin those giant webs find some other place to go. Maybe they burrow into our garden just off the patio. That would be warm and conveniently close by! I know the voles and moles burrow there!

  12. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that! Spider webs are so thin and those are so thick! Just beautiful.
    I've got a back of Optimum cookies in the oven and your blog is just the thing to do between loading cookies in the oven.
    No snow here yet - which is fine but I hope it starts snowing in the U.P. soon!

  13. Jo ~ I know, that's what makes hoarfrost so amazing and beautiful - it sticks to everything and just keeps adding to itself, so it turns things - like spiderwebs - from something nearly invisible to an amazing work of art! It had our dog run fence wires so coated that the fence looked like a solid wall! And it's just gorgeous on tree branches, including the tiniest of twigs, as well as on the wild grasses. Oh, and Mocha's whiskers! :-)

    Optimum cookies, huh? You tease! :-)

    We still have quite a bit of snow here (went slogging thorough it Saturday on a hike with the dogs, and had to take ski poles to help keep us from floundering too much and busting our butts!), but it's supposed to be sunny and warmer (mid 30s to low 40s) this week, with no snow in the forecast till NEXT Wednesday. Of course, that will change a million times between now and then... but the forecast makes the UPS man happy! :-)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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