Oh what a tangled web we weave…

Tree covered in websThe bard said that. That’s what you’re all thinking isn’t it? But…he didn’t. For once it wasn’t Shakespeare it was in fact Sir Walter Scott who said it.

Anyway, this post isn’t about bards or poets it’s about caterpillars! I spotted this bush covered in what I thought at first were spider webs. On looking closer I could see tiny caterpillars, about an inch long and they were very active.

There were thousands of the little critters and I could not help thinking some bird was going to have a scrumptious breakfast for the next month or so.

Caterpillar harvesting?

I don’t know what they grow into, if indeed they grow into anything. It struck me that these tiny little creatures could produce such an enormous amount of web to cover a whole tree and the web was strong enough to not only hold their weight, but also resist the moving of the branches in the wind so that it didn’t tear. 

That’s a purely organic process too as the caterpillars produced that web from their own bodies and they’re only tiny so can’t eat that much. It got me to thinking how come we can’t copy that organic process to make things for ourselves? Caterpillars can only eat other insects or plant material so all we have to do is figure out how they turn that into web and replicate the process. 

Here’s some more photos of the industrious little creatures.