Nature's Place

Born Again … Again

I came upon this Orb Weaver one night, molting. Hanging upside-down from a few strands of silk.

*Click on the pictures for a proper look … and click again

Gravity helps him exit the old body, too small now. And helps his new body stretch to its full extent.

Swaying and turning in the night breeze, it took a while to get free of the old. No doubt some effort is involved.

Stretching out to aid the new, exposed to every danger … but not a predator in sight. Safe on a silken thread.

A crop, to show his eating gear. Fangs above the palps, and above that a couple rows of black cutters.

After a while hanging down he curled up, clenching his new body. A little natural spider yoga preps it for action.

Not yet ready to start his new life. Exercises need repetition, duration and timing for optimal effect.

Brand new spider body … functioning perfectly … almost ready for life on the wire … how many more to go, bodies.

It’s a theatre, a play, a part, then shuffle off the stage … to a new body, and newer still, until the last and then no more …

… to be born, or die, into a world of light and beauty. But who’s to tell, unless you see …

Free? Not yet, old shell gone now but still some living to do. Hanging in there … for what may be.

And once he’s done here, upside down, he turns around and back he goes from whence he came, into the black night.

It takes a spider a long time to be born again. And then there’s no guarantee …

But guarantee would be a form of death … to any self-respecting spider.

Then again, life’s one guarantee to every form is death.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look



16 Responses

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  1. chele said, on 01/03/2018 at 5:44 am


  2. Cate said, on 01/03/2018 at 4:27 am

    What a remarkable series, Mark! Thanks so much for giving me a look at this small miracle I would otherwise never see. Spectacular!

    • Mark said, on 01/03/2018 at 11:58 am

      Thanks Cate.

      And there are bugs all round us doing it every day …

  3. Zezee said, on 24/02/2018 at 12:59 pm

    Wow! Did not know they shed bodies.
    I learned something new today.

    • Mark said, on 24/02/2018 at 4:27 pm

      Many insects do it. Humans do it too, albeit incrementally.

  4. jebusandandrea said, on 23/02/2018 at 5:58 pm

    Incredible photos! They had me tense in my seat. I’m afraid of bugs but I do enjoy them in photos, they are quite fascinating.

  5. macmsue said, on 23/02/2018 at 12:50 pm

    Absolutely amazing.

  6. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature said, on 23/02/2018 at 9:16 am

    Don’t they have to raise their blood pressure to near death to be able to crack out of the old body? They are so amazing. What incredible pictures!!! Spectacular you were there for it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mark said, on 23/02/2018 at 11:41 am

      I expect there is some effort involved, for a while.

      Thanks Mary.

  7. Lissa Clayton said, on 23/02/2018 at 6:59 am

    You got me wondering how often a spider does molt.
    I found this fascinating article:

    Spiders can actually die during molting if they have eaten too much in too short a time.

    • Mark said, on 23/02/2018 at 11:40 am

      Ours is an interesting nature. For sure …

  8. David said, on 23/02/2018 at 5:46 am

    I’m not sure what the ultimate adjective would be to describe these photos but if there is something more appropriate than what I’ve used, then that is what I meant. Individually, and especially as a series, I think these are superb.

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