It's September! Although we might be enjoying our warmest summer days, fall is in the air. But there's more than fall in the air. At this time of year when the wind and weather are right you might notice strands of what I call "spider webby stuff" clinging to fences and tree branches or floating freely in the air. This webby white stuff is more than a single spider web—it's like a fuzzy group of fibers (see photo). The strands can be long or short and most often they appear thick and thin or puffy.
I first saw these webs as a youngster with my grandfather at San Gregorio. Overnight, strands of material floated in, the long waving streamers lodged on the barbed wire fence. My grandfather grew up in the mountains of Monterey County and he recalled the sight of these spider webby streamers in the fall of the year when he was a boy. He was impressed by their size and number that year. I have been watching for them ever since, seeing some almost every year.
My dad was fascinated by UFOs and he shared a book with me that claimed the webby material was of alien origin and that it often disappears without a trace when gathered for study.
The webs have been seen in various parts of the world. They have been linked to chemtrails and supernatural events. A more down-to-earth explanation is that spiders spin the threads and float away on them as a method of dispersal.
My present location, in a basin below a ridgeline, is the ideal place for wind currents to deposit floating items—you would be amazed at the number of deflated party balloons that have found their way onto our rural land, lodging in tree branches or finally resting right out in the grassy field. So during the webby season I know just where the currents are apt to deposit the webby stuff and when the time is right I may spot some on my morning walk.
Take time to look around this month and see if you can spot some of the webby stuff. Then stay tuned for part two of this article...
Photo from museumvictoria.com.