Ferris Bueller and the Spider Web

If you remember the 1986 movie, Ferris opines: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Now I’m not suggesting you should take a mental health day, play hooky or otherwise temporarily drop out of the rat race.  But I do think it’s easy to miss the fascinating stuff happening all around us all the time.  Stuff like spider webs, like this one:

Anyway years ago I was photographing the ocean along Maine's rocky coast in the early morning fog, from a perfect perch among the scrub pines.  Felt the eerie, shiver-down-your-back feeling when something oh-so-light brushes against your neck.  Rubbed my neck and turned quickly just as the sun burned through the mist and backlighted this spider web.  Click!  Click!  Then the sun disappeared back into the haze pretty much taking the web from sight as well.

And it’s not just the things that escape your view, as Ferris pointed out.  There are often mysteries beneath these visuals as well.  Did you ever wonder why a spider doesn’t get caught in its own sticky web?   Well, apparently over the hundred million years these eight legged air breathing arthropods have been building webs, they’ve developed several kinds of silk: some sticky for catching prey, some not sticky for building and walking on, some specialized for wrapping up dinner.  The silk is stronger than steel, relative to its weight and much more flexible.  I won’t get into the fascinating way these webs are built or how spiders (who don’t see very well) can tell when lunch has arrived.  But you get the point, all this interesting stuff going on around us all the time.

So maybe next Monday you might wake up with some cryptic condition?  Maybe the best cure would be an attentive walk in the woods?  Or in your own backyard?  Or around the block?

Oh, and in case you’re still wondering about the seemingly bogus connection between Ferris Bueller and my web photo, do you remember the friend’s father’s sportscar that he was driving around on his day off?

 It was a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder convertible.