Walking early one summer morning, I had a postcard moment we have all shared— a waterfall of light pouring through the canopy, broken into ever smaller streams and rivulets by the dense foliage. Edges of green leaves gilded by sunlight. Specks of golden dust sluggishly drifting through the bright streams. A moment to savor, the visual flavor of summer.
As I turned to continue on, something unexpected caught my eye in the canopy. Glimmering lights that disappeared as I took a step. Diamonds suspended in the foliage? Fairy lights strung up in the trees? As I leaned this way and that trying to shift the brilliant beams to clear up this luminous mystery, it suddenly appeared again— two stories above the ground, a large, shimmering web covered with dew—each drop refracting sunbeams, bejeweling the air, stretching from one delicate, extended, arboreal limb to another.
How marvelous, an errant arachnid bewitching the canopy with its artistry. But no, as I began to search, more and more of these dazzling displays gradually revealed themselves. The upper story was glittering with shimmering webs. Everywhere I looked above my head, I saw them sparkling, then disappearing in the shadows, seen then unseen, in the blinding summer light and black shade. The webs were of different sizes, scattered throughout the trees in an unexpected, dazzling display.