At a campsite we used on the Pacific Crest Trail, I discovered the late afternoon sun lighting up dozens of silk strands spun by spiders who had apparently used them to descend from the high limbs of Douglas Firs. These thin threads, still holding strong in the breeze, were invisible except when they were revealed by rays from the sun that had descended on their own 90 million-mile journey to the earth. As the breeze moved those spider bridges up and down and in and out of contact with the rays of the sun, it appeared as though celestial light was moving up and down through the them like lightning, like the angels Jacob saw ascending and descending from heaven.
If you’ve been the first or the only one traveling a trail through the woods, you’re familiar with this arachnid transit system. When you tear through their elevated tracks, they stick on your hands or face, making you aware of the volume of nocturnal traffic in the forest. Still, I had no idea so many spiders were also commuting down to earth from hundreds of feet in the air.