The gate was locked. That was my reminder of the season. Without the typical fall rains of the Columbia River Gorge where I hike or the grey glums of my drier eastern Oregon home it is hard to know the date without a calendar. (We’ve had a warm and sunny autumn so far.)
As I turned the car in a tight circle to park outside the gate, my hiking partner exclaimed, “Look at those spider webs!” Glistening in the early morning sun two labyrinth works of art flanked a worn stop sign. You know it’s going to be a good hike when you get a bonus moment before you ever start! (See Just One More Bonus Moment.)
As I stood trying to simultaneously focus my camera on both webs, the owner showed herself. She was a tad camera shy; she moved out of my focus each time I set up. And, though, I was not successful in capturing the two webs side-by-side or getting a clear image of the creator, I witnessed her efficient food gathering device capture a small flying creature. My hiking partner, waiting about thirty-five feet away, reminded me she was ready to begin our trek and scramble to the Gorton Creek waterfall.
A smile on my face. I bid spider farewell with an appreciation for the utility and beauty of arachnid folk art.