It’s a little known fact that spiders are the most persistent animal out there. This fact is little known because I just made it up, but it should be true because my god are those critters stubborn.
At this time of year Hong Kong is already hot and humid (gravity might as well not exist as far as my frizz is concerned), and that means spiders are appearing from whatever place they have been hiding all winter. Said spiders are still small at this point but they have a predilection for weaving their webs across hiking trails at face height. Yep.
I go hiking daily, and at the moment this is how it goes:
1. Celine and Poppy arrive at hiking trails stupidly early so no one has been yet. Celine clears the spiderwebs with a stick as she walks. Poppy finds a spot of wet mud and rolls around in it (the latter is unrelated but is a frequent enough occurrence to warrant a mention)
2. The rest of the day’s hikers walk through trails, making it clear to any spider paying attention that these are busy and well frequented paths.
3. Spiders recoup from their lost webs, wait until all humans have left for the night and re-weave their webs *in exactly the same spot*
4. Celine goes hiking the following morning and loses her shit over the myriad of spider webs that are once again across the trail, at face height. Celine clears the webs — again — misses one, and steps through it.
5. Celine freaks out and gesticulates like she’s possessed in the hope that will ensure that no spider is stuck in her hair. Poppy finds wild boar poo and rolls around in it.
6. Rest of hikers come, re-iterating to (clearly intensely stupid spiders) that this is a busy path and not a suitable web weaving spot.
7. Spiders re-weave webs in SAME PLACE!!
It begs the question: shouldn’t spiders have by now evolved to weave their webs in places other than highly frequented hiking trails? Surely the ones who are dumb enough to constantly weave webs in inconvenient places should have starved by now, leaving only smart, considerate spiders who will weave their webs elsewhere.
At the moment I have the upper hand in this battle of persistence, because the spiders are small and their nets are fine. Give it a month though, and they’ll make way for another type of spider:
They’re called Golden Orb-Weavers. On the one hand, they’re the size of my hand, so harder to miss than the small ones and on average that means less web-in-face incidents. On the other, their webs are thicker and sticky, so that if you walk through them it actually pulls your head back a bit before it breaks. Yes, it’s as horrible as it sounds.
Oh and they also like to weave across hiking trails, and at face height.
I’ve tried going later in the day but it’s too hot and Poppy runs the risk of over-heating. So it’s face the spiders or give up hiking. I love my morning hikes, because once I get past the spidery bit it’s glorious and I get to look down on this kind of scenery:
So spiders it is. I guess a silver lining is that I get a daily lesson in persistence as well as workout. I never thought I’d say this but my god I can’t wait for winter!
weirdos people make clothing out of Golden Orb-Weaver web. I guess it’s no weirder than using silk worms to make silk, but still…