Hanging Ornament


I didn't put much effort into decorating the outside of the house for the holidays this year. Most years I hang some lights, mainly because I prefer the gentle, even light they provide as opposed to the single source of the harsh front porch light. I could blame the early cold weather this year as hanging lights in bitter temperatures isn't fun, but we had very mild weather before the current cold snap, so that's no excuse.


I have to admit that the water barrel in the walkway garden played a role in this decision, as the birdbath heater is occupying the extension cord that usually powers the decorative lights. So it really was several factors that contributed to the decision to have no lights this year. We do have an ornament of sorts though, provided by the creatures of my garden.

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If you're picturing some Disneyesque scene, with all of the furry critters singing and laughing while they contribute something appropriate: a pinecone, some acorns, spiderwebs, flower petals, and so on -- you're on the right track, but not quite right.


Sure, there is a spiderweb, and many creatures did contribute, but not in a tuneful, fun way.

No, they contributed with their lives, as the bulk of this "ornament" that swings and twirls in the winter winds, dangling and dancing in the front window is made of dead insect parts. Ant carcasses it looks like...


...but some insect wings in there too. (Lots of other debris too, possibly crumbs of my home's frame that the ants are attacking.)


So I wouldn't really expect to see this design in a Hallmark ornament collection any time soon.


It stretches up and up to the soffit, at least 18" (45cm) long, maybe much longer. I can't see the top part of it from inside, as I can't get the angle right.

I'm not really sure where it came from, and why it only recently appeared. I guess it's the web of a wolf spider or similar, which is essentially a sheet of webbing that terminates in a tunnel.


Perhaps a bird looking for a warm place to roost brushed against the abandoned web recently, causing it to detach, fall, then form this blob.

I look at it every day and wonder, absorbed, strangely fascinated.

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