Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Spiders of the I-90 Bridge

I've ridden across the I-90 floating bridge more than 3000 times. It's part of my workday commute and you could say it's part of my routine, but every day reveals something new. Sometimes it just takes a look in a slightly different direction.

Last night, when coming home from work, I happened to glance down and north as I crossed the bridge, looking towards the water but the focus of my eyes fell short of the water and I saw, clearly for the first time, the gaps at the base of the protective side rails of the bridge. And in the gaps, in almost every gap, a spider had spun a web.

On the trip this morning I had my camera ready.

I walked slowly beside my bicycle, taking pictures of the spiders repairing and rebuilding their webs. Halfway across the bridge, I heard a familiar voice behind me, "Did you get tired of riding or what?" It's my friend John Duggan. I explain to him about spiders and the webs and point them out. "You know," he says, "I've ridden across this bridge thousands of times and never noticed them."

"Me neither," I agree.

John and I go our respective ways and the spiders continue with their work.

I'll still marvel at Mount Rainier looming to the south and thrill to the eagles that soar over Mercer Island. I'll still watch the morning sun crest the Cascades and light the Olympic Mountains. But sometimes now, I look down and a little to the north.

Keep 'em rolling

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