Women take centre stage - This one is called Nephila -from the Greek nema which means thread and philos which means friend, so friends of a thread- a spinner.
It is International Womens day on the 8th of March and a special day of remembrance for me.
They have been gracing my entrance for a few weeks and taking over more and more of the space between my frangipani tree and a rose bush. Being respectful of nature I have let them take it over though not everyone would be comfortable with this.
Several golden orb spiders thought that this was an ideal open place where they could spin their elaborate webs and catch flying insects of their choice. They occasionally caught one of us as we did a bit of gardening.
The Webs were enormous – maybe two or three foot across – incredibly elaborate and in the sunlight gave off a golden sheen. My friend Zelinda came looking for butterflies but went off with lots of spider pictures which she has kindly agreed to share with you to show you how magnificent they are.The silk threads are so strong, that scientists are studying the way they are made.
The females can be quite large and silvery grey with brown yellow bandied legs. The males are smaller mainly reddish brown and can often be seen on the periphery of the webs.
The Women take centre stage here.
They are clearly fascinating creatures so much so that an Argentinian artist Thomas Saraceno, studied them for years and years to understand how exactly they formed their webs and he reproduced them in his own way in the wonderful work that he exhibited a few months ago at the Gallery of Modern art in Brisbane. He created Biospheres which he suggested could sustain future life and took the spiders weaving as his starting point.
Zelinda’s pictures and Saraceno’s work belong side by side. Today, though every day should be like that, think about those women in your lives spinning their webs and sustaining life for all those around them.