Load-bearing filaments

I saw a thing today. I was out in the neighborhood, walking to and fro in the world and up and down in it; it’s very foggy here so there is heavy condensation on the bushes and trees and everything else. What happens when there’s condensation like that? You see how many spider webs there are everywhere. I stopped to look at one, because a spider web beaded in condensation is a damn pretty thing, and I looked so closely that I noticed a thing new to me. Webs have long radial lines, like spokes, and short lines between them. At the sides of the web, but not top and bottom, the short lines make a Y – they have 2 tiny lines to meet the radial line instead of just one – but only at the upper end.

I walked on and looked at another web and saw the same thing, then a bigger one and that had three lines on many of the short lines, a fork instead of a Y.

I searched Google images and found a perfect illustration:

Image may contain: plant and outdoor

See? Both Ys and forks on that one. Isn’t that interesting? Charlotte would be proud.

All the webs I looked closely at had a spider sitting placidly at the center, waiting for lunch.

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