What did you make today?

In animals, beauty, design, life, nature, science on August 17, 2013 at 12:02 am

By Caitlin Kelly

It was the end of the day, time to go for my walk along our town’s reservoir.

It’s a walk I’ve made dozens of times, in every season, for many years, along an asphalt path shaded by towering trees, the  reservoir on one side, filled with ducks and swans and turtles. People come there to fish, or sit, or jog.

Cyclists whiz past.

Nothing new.

All familiar.

But for…a trick of the light.

Spider web

Spider web (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re in the right place at just the right moment, and you’re paying attention — not yammering on your cellphone or texting or racing past — you’ll see stuff.

A deer. A small black turtle. Some ripe raspberries.

And there, shimmering in the early evening sunshine, was a huge spiderweb, as big — I measured — as the entire size of my hand, from base of my palm to the end of my middle finger, seven inches.

It was spectacular!

It was attached, with multiple strands, to the thick bark of a tree, as if, like some bivouacking mountain-climber, s/he’d decided to latch on and dangle. There were multiple attachment points, and then the web itself, with so many concentric circles I couldn’t count them all — 20?

In the center sat a very small brown spider, (probably exhausted!), perhaps half the size of my smallest fingernail. Even better, there were about five other, smaller webs nearby, sort of a spider condominium, each with its own spider. (Relatives? Tenants? Guests?)

I stood there for a few minutes, awestruck by the skill, artistry and the spontaneous beauty it brought to the end of my day.

What on earth could I possibly make of such delicate strength?

What did you make today?

  1. Nothing nearly as exciting as that, I’ll tell you.

  2. Caitlin, I am so exhausted from this and that and getting over the flu that I pretty much only made dinner. However, I did possibly make someone happier by helping out with a project that was becoming a little overwhelming. And they in turn made my website look a bit better. But sketched out paintings sit in the studio, gathering dust.

  3. today, i helped to make my garden more beautiful, by introducing a new kind of flower into the mix.

  4. In my office, we handle the documents of 85,000 undergraduate and graduate students, scanning, indexing, and quality checking them, just so these students can be taken care of. And every student has several documents, so we have hundreds of thousands of documents to look through.
    I made the job a little easier by helping out.

  5. The only thing I can think of is that I made great progress putting a book on the various sites I wanted it, or at least did the final tweaks after someone else did the inputting. Unless you count staying up to make a cup of coffee for my brotherfriend after a long drive to visit me.
    Maybe I can make something better today. xxx Hugs xxx

  6. Well yesterday I made students. Day three…getting them whipped into shape.

  7. Three dozen vanilla cupcakes with oreo and chocolate butter cream frosting. I have a new teenager in the house as of today, and he had both a soccer and waterpolo game, so I made enough cupcakes for both teams to help him celebrate.

    I also made two small boys happy by sitting on the couch with them for half an hour, letting them snuggle, and watching an EXCRUCIATING movie.

    Nice post, as always! Made me think.

  8. What did I make today, Caitlin? A mess, that’s what. But it’s only half past ten in the morning – and where there is scope there is hope.


  9. Love the idea of making something today. So I made a smile and started it off on a world journey, so next time someone smiles at you for no reason, then that is the smile I sent around the world to get to you.

  10. I made some of the people that I know smile. One by passing on a job lead that might make a big difference for him and others just by talking.

    Nothing big, but it feels good.

  11. Loved your juicy language and message to stop and savor – and the picture of the web – fabulous!

  12. i made next to nothing today {getting over sickness // my body’s way of telling me to slow down before work starts up again Monday!}. it was my first day since starting my blog to not write a post, so i suppose i made myself better, which is important. soon, it’s back to making teenagers enjoy learning {fingers crossed!}. lovely post!

  13. Loved this post. I, too, have a regular walk. It goes from my little old house in a little old Australian town and goes up a hill till the houses peter out and the road goes up a little further until I’m surrounded by paddocks and a view into the surrounding ranges (which are getting more and more covered by wind-turbines – that’s not a negative comment, just an observation). There are two reasons why I keep doing this walk. One, to walk past a small forest of pines trees – they remind me of my childhood. Two, because there’s a lone old sheep in the paddocks up there; my dog and I say hello to the lone old sheep. I’m sure one day the sheep won’t be there and I’ll be miserable. But it’s always good to get home and feel that I’ve done something useful – walk vigorously – after a day of doing something not really that useful – writing. Thanks, as always, for MAKING me think these things.

    • I love your description…The sheep is key.

      It’s so funny to find your comment. We just now (I write this at 11:34 pm Sat. night) ended a dinner with two friends, an artist and a photographer and we were talking about the blog, and you — and how much I enjoy our Antipodean antiphonal conversations…And here you are!

      Here are my friend’s sites. His photos are extraordinary — he has been traveling all over the States photographing Civil War sites with a pinhole camera he made…and the Library of Congress was interested!

      His work:


  14. I made my wife a cup of tea. Not quite as intricate or reflection-inspiring as a spider’s web but a meaningful gesture nonetheless.
    When I still lived in Ireland I used to love walking the woods and hills that surrounded our little cottage. It was an idyllic location and we were blessed to spend a good part of our time there.
    City-living does not move me in quite the same way.

    • Tea is one of my favorite parts of the day, so good on ya mate! 🙂

      It sounds idyllic indeed. City life can be wearying. Even Manhattan, though, has some quiet, green, lovely pockets…

  15. Beautiful soulful thoughtful posts. I bet that tiny little spider only lives to construct that one giant web everyday. A spider’s goals are very different from ours. Great site! I’m a new fan 🙂

  16. Many good thoughts in this post. You did a fine job of describing the peace that comes to you on your walks. I am very fortunate to live where I see things like this every day and I get pleasure from them every day. I watch ants busily building their hill, twig by twig, and I see Bumblebees going from blossom to blossom on the Hollyhocks, probing for nectar. I see young Robins learning to fly and Eagles soaring on high. But, what do I make? Many days I don’t make anything but seldom does a day go by that I don’t make some progress on a project. Today I made a tray of Cedar that will eventually occupy an assigned space in a treasure chest that I am building. This also provides peace and satisfaction. Life can be beautiful and rewarding, don’t you think?

    • Thanks!

      Aren’t hollyhocks gorgeous?

      I love that you have the skill (and desire) to make a treasure chest. Working with your hands is such a special feeling. Life can indeed be beautiful and rewarding.

  17. same as i make every day: trouble 😉

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