Titia is interested in photography, poetry, family, art, dogs, cats, insects, wildlife, history, war, camping, writing, and the environment.
Most People Are Afraid of Spiders
I know....Yes I know, most people don't like spiders, but have you ever taken the opportunity to look a bit closer at spiders? The spider's world is actually very beautiful and very interesting. They catch their food alive (like we do too), they clean it and eat it (like we do too) and then they bring out the garbage (like we do too). So our world is not so very different from the spider's world and that's fascinating, at least I think so.
What Is so Fascinating About Old Cobwebs?
I just love cobwebs and it all started when we bought our little old farmhouse with a big barn some 30 + years ago. The barn inside hadn't been cleaned out for several years I guess, because it was filled with lots of old dusty cobwebs. I didn't care and didn't remove them either while we were reconstructing the old farm house. Spiders are useful creatures; they keep the flies and mosquitoes away.
Only when I got my first Kodak digital camera I took a greater interest in the webs and discovered they were actually beautiful and fascinating to look at through the lens of the camera.
None of the native spiders in my country (The Netherlands) are dangerous or poisonous. It seems some can bite, but I've never experienced that myself. Spiders actually have a well organized household; they even put the trash out most of the time.
So... relax, sit back and read and watch. I hope you'll enjoy my presentation, despite the fact that spiders might freak you out. Keep in mind that the spiders you might see here, can't hurt you anyway. They won't jump off the screen you know.
Spiderwebs Are Beautiful If You Take a Closer Look
I got my first digital camera, a little Kodak and of course I wanted to take pictures to see how it worked. So I walked into the barn where those old spider webs were hanging. I hadn't taken them out when we moved in, we had our hands full at the house. The light from the window peeked through those webs and they looked like old, but dirty lace, so I started taking pictures. It wasn't until I had put them on my pc and was watching them at full screen size, that I saw beauty in those old, dirty webs. I started to play around with my new photo editing program Paint Shop Pro and I was playing with detail selections of this photo and enlarged them a bit. It was then that I said WOW, I'm entering a whole new world here.
Even More Fascinating Is What the Spiders Leave Behind
It often is not only the spider or the cobweb that rouses my interest, but maybe even more so what the spiders leave behind. You can learn a lot from exploring a spider's web. We humans often forget to look for the beauty in little things and there's a story behind everything.
Funnel Spider's Web
Some Spiders Hide in a Funnel
Building a Trap Net
Our Native Funnel Spiders Are Not That Big
Our native funnel spiders are rather small if you compare them to species in other countries like for instance in the USA and Australia. But nevertheless they scare the hell out of a lot of people. They're black, hairy and fast.
The Black Hairy House Spider
The Black Hairy Spiders Catch Their Prey by Surprise
There are those big, black and hairy spiders which even scare the hell out of me if they come too close, despite the fact that they are totally harmless. Still I find them really interesting to look at (from a distance). Once one had built her web in a windowsill in a small barn and I have followed her movements for quite some time. Unfortunately it was before I had my digital camera so I have no pictures. Whatever prey she caught, when she had finished her dinner, she wrapped the remains in silk and hung it over the edge of the windowsill. That was her garbage bin. So I could see what she had eaten that day. She stayed there, until one day I noticed a soft round package in her web and that was a bundle of eggs. At that moment I thought it was time to clean house and I brought her and her package outside. To watch one was fun, but to watch a few hundred in the near future not so.
Spiders are Cannibals
Spiders are cannibals. The females eat their spouses and they eat each other when they have a chance.
In the photo below a funnel spider made very good use of her partner, she decorated her house with him.
Dead Spider in Web
It was on a day, a very hot day. I think it was June, oh anyway
I came across like a Halloween treat, a spider who could read.
I was amazed and somewhat dazed, apparently my eyebrows raised,
The spider whispered with a smile: "Oh there you are, I've waited a while.
Please tell me dear and without fear, where I can find a library here?
I know you don't believe your eyes, but I am special, I don't eat flies".
I pointed out while laughing loud that libraries were nowhere about,
but she could read my books in stead and even eat a crumb of bread.
So on this day, this very hot day, I showed this spider all the way
into my room where books were kept. She said she was ever in my dept.
From this day on, honestly Hon, the spider stayed, was never gone,
Invited me to her home one day, which was spooky in a way.
I woke that day in a peculiar way, from a nap I took on a stack of hay.
I had been dreaming in the heat about a spider who could read.
Though in my head the thought had spread. What....if the spider wasn't dead
that I had taken a picture of, but truly had read the book instead?
A Spider Who Could Read?
Poll about Spiders
Spiders in Their Web - Waiting for Their Prey
Spider's Web Art
A spider is an Artist
Every night a spider builds a new home. One could ask how she has time to catch food and eat and survive in between.
You might have noticed that when you destroy (accidentally or on purpose) a spider's web, she almost immediately starts to build a new one. That's in her genes, she can't help it and her instinct says she has to do that.
Spider Church Art
Spider Bottle Art
Spider Free Art
Spider Glass Art
Spider Jewelry Art
Spider Construction Art
Spider Motion Art
Spider Web Art
Where My Passion for Cobwebs Comes From
So this is what happened after I got my first digital camera and stumbled upon those dirty old spider webs in my barn. It's a disease. I see spiders and spider's webs everywhere. It's an addiction of which I don't want to recover. It's harmless and it's beautiful.
I'm not a professional photographer, I'm just a lady with a camera. My photos are not always of perfect quality, but they carry my soul. At least that's what I'm trying to accomplish and if I only reach one other soul, then I've reached my goal.
I blame my dad. He taught me to look beyond the obvious, but I'm so glad he did. If he hadn't taught me that, I would have missed so much beauty. He said:
'There's beauty in everything, you only have to see it.
Don't look with your eyes, look with your heart and all the beauty in the little things will come to you".
He was so right, my dad.
I Published a Book with Poems About Spiders
We have a big Critter Friendly Garden and of course it's the home of a lot of spiders. Most spiders you don't see till the end of August, when nature starts slowly to make preparations for her winter holiday. Most of them are what we call the Cross Spiders, or as Wikipedia calls them: the European Garden Spiders.
This photo is photoshopped on. I made it for my book Spiders in my Head, one of a series of photography and poetry books I wrote and published.
Poll - Tell Me If My Spider Story Made a Difference - in the Way You Thought About Spiders
© 2012 Titia Geertman
You can leave your sticky notes here
Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on July 10, 2015:
Very interesting article, I enjoy looking at spider webs also, it amazes me how a spider can spin the web between shrubs in my garden (like 5 or 6 metres), must swing across like a monkey, but continually spinning as they go.
I enjoy looking at the webs on a frosty morning with the early morning sun showing them up in the glow through the mist.
Also I have never seen a funnel spider web before, would like to see that one.
Thanks for sharing your photos with us.
tonyleather on January 06, 2014:
Arachnids are awesome creatures, and this truly is a fascinating lens! Great images and wonderful writing. Excellent job!
Dawn from Maryland, USA on November 09, 2013:
Wow, i just noticed the link to your lens in my friend's (MelKav) lens about spiders. I'm glad I followed it. I'm fairly indifferent to spiders. But WOW, your photos are fantastic! Nice lens!
mel-kav on November 08, 2013:
Great lens - awesome photos too! I have a lens about how I overcame a severe case of arachnophobia - and how spiders and their webs totally fascinate me now. I love your lens - I am going to feature it on my spider lens.
Jackie Jackson from Fort Lauderdale on November 06, 2013:
I love these photographs. Thank you so much.
Kathy McGraw from California on October 03, 2013:
I was really fascinated with your spider webs, and more so with your poems to go with them. Absolutely enchanting! I too have a page on spiderwebs and spent several hours a few weeks ago watching the spiders at my moms house, but only got 1 good picture. You are talented, and I love seeing someone else's love for these beautiful creatures.
stylishimo1 on September 04, 2012:
What an awesome lens! I love all your spider and web pictures, I think they would make a great photographic exhibition, in fact visiting your lens is like going round a very interesting art exhibition. I am half tempted to photograph some of my spiders, some of them are beasts, maybe.....If I am brave enough....
Close2Art LM on August 12, 2012:
I always leave spiders alone because they eat bugs..Angel Blessings
AlleyCatLane on August 11, 2012:
The webs may be fascinating but spiders creep me out. I have too many to contend with where I live to ever be able to see any beauty in them. Your lens is deserving of the purple star I am sure, although I had to skim quickly past a lot of it.
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on August 10, 2012:
I find the spiders and their webs fascinating too. Since there is no dusty barn near me, I've focused on photographing the dew drops on the spider web. They add a sparkle when the light is just right.
DMVAgent on August 09, 2012:
It is really fascinating though spiders are sometimes not cool but you made this lens very great!
Kim from Yonkers, NY on August 09, 2012:
I hate spiders, but you've got some really cool pictures that shouldbe ina gallery!
I hope the spiders you showed aren't the ones in the barn, I'd move if that was the case! (or just NEVER go out lol
MayaIxchel on August 08, 2012:
What stunning photos! Really interesting lens! I am fascinated by spiders as well! Greetings from 'the land of eternal spring'!
EMangl on August 08, 2012:
great lens about one of my favorite animals
Mona from Iowa on August 07, 2012:
I've got a barn full of spiders. :) Actually wear a high ponytail when doing chores and caught one with it the other day. Nor fun having a giant barn spider in your hair but since I am not overly afraid it could have been worse. Very interesting concept for a lens. :) Blessed.
gatornic15 on August 07, 2012:
Interesting lens, but rather creepy! A much deserved Purple Star...Blessed
treehousebrando1 on August 07, 2012:
I truly hate spiders!
Spiderlily321 on August 06, 2012:
My house has been overrun by a family of huge hairy spiders lately. First I would see 1 here or there occasionally and then it was 2 at a time and finally 3. We had to finally call an exterminator because I was afraid they might bite my 4 year old son. I think spiders are beautiful--I even have a black widow tattooed on my wrist, but they also scare me a bit.
Sara Krentz from USA on August 06, 2012:
Some of the webs are really beautiful. Spiders still give me the creeps, but I can see why you find them so fascinating.
pawpaw911 on August 06, 2012:
Very interesting, and a little creepy.
Linda Pogue from Missouri on August 06, 2012:
anne mohanraj on August 06, 2012:
Gayle Dowell from Kansas on August 06, 2012:
Creepy, but interesting.
sibian on August 05, 2012:
Great lens about these amazing creatures. Living in Australia we are amazed at the number of spider species you see everywhere. Even my wife who is scared by spiders would not touch a Huntsman, for instance. They are huge and beautiful. And harmless too...
The Daddy-Long-Lens early in your lens wasn't just lucky, it is a venomous spider that easily kills other spiders, such as the dangerous Australian Redback.
However, the amount of venom it releseas is so small it renders him harmless to humans.
Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on August 05, 2012:
I was thinking this lens should win a purple star and then I scrolled up and saw it did. Well deserved! It truly is a wonderful lens.
jejoju on July 31, 2012:
This is truly a fantastic lens! 10/10. You are a fantastic writer!
Did not want to read about spiders but you made me look at them differently now. As long as they stay outside, I won't kill them.
Country Sunshine from Texas on July 30, 2012:
Photos are interesting.... but I still don't like spiders!