Friday, April 20, 2012

What You See On the Side of the Road

So, last week, I was in the foothills of the North Carolina side of the Smoky Mountains. We were driving, following my brother in law on a road that basically takes you along the edge of the mountains, and we were a little confused about where we were, so we stopped for a minute on the side of the road to get our bearings. Maps were consulted, GPSes were explored, but they seemed more confused than we were.

(Side note: we found this funny thing with our new GPS on this trip. When it gets confused it starts mispronouncing road names, sort of blurring them, as if to avoid making any commitments that might get it into trouble. It sounds like Bill Murray in Caddyshack.)

So, anyway, we were sitting there and, just outside my window on the driver's side, I noticed that a spider had somehow gotten up onto the mirror. Not sure how it got there, but it was furiously making a web. And I do mean furiously. I’ve never seen a spider move so fast. It spun a web out from the rear view mirror to the corner of the window, then in another direction, then it cut back across, really fast. As I watched, I was wondering what I was going to do about this spider, if anything. But it didn’t care about me. It made a kind of triangle and filled it in very fast. It was amazing.

And then, I am not kidding you, or joshing you, or making any of this up: it carefully cut the web loose from the car and rode it like a kite on the wind away from the car toward some trees on the other side of the road. It was so small and almost transparent that I lost sight of it after a few yards, but it was headed in the right direction.

It was a flying spider.

Now. I don’t know about you but, to me, that is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. It was no accident. It happened fast and it happened on purpose. This spider knew EXACTLY what it was doing. I found a description online from an entomologist. They call this behavior “ballooning.” But they don’t seem amazed by it at all. As if spiders creating flying vehicles is just, you know, something akin to taking a pee or something.

To me, flying spiders are amazing. Pure and simple.

I think this is God’s way of laughing at our unbelief.

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2011


  1. this is awesome!! i wish you had a camera. we've been addicted to NatGO for the last week. im regretting introducing it to my son! i will say, some of that stuff is A-Mazing!

  2. Nothing like being a member of the National Geographic Society.

  3. That was a very cool image you painted - there's something mysterious about that part of the world ... (minus some of the people who inhabit it).

  4. Are you connoting that you're not a fan of some of the populace of Appalachia? Great people there, really. We also found a trout farm nearby owned by a man originally from Michigan. There were several trout farms in that area. Which, to me, is an image of what heaven will be like. Rainbow trout for dinner anytime you want it.


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