Catenary

Before I forget (again) Kathy and Jerry shared some photos with me. And now I am sharing with you. 🙂

While on a NPSOT property tour the owner told Kathy about a hummingbird nest or so she thought. The person had seen the spider web in the construction of the nest. So it was a reasonable thing to think hummer. However it was a Bell’s Vireo! Like other vireos it attaches the nest between two twigs/branches level with the twigs. Additionally note it does use some of the same building materials as a hummingbird. A hummingbird usually will position its nest above the twig or stem and of course it is a lot smaller. Great find! Thanks Kathy!
First Wednesday group photo by Jerry. Naturally there was a lot of serious discussions on the First Wednesday outing. LOL Thanks Jerry!

Now back to the title of this post, catenary. This was a new term for me this morning. A physicist, an architect, an engineer or a mathematician (to mention a few) would know the term. But I am none of those. LOL The term was definitely not in my wheelhouse, but like many you have observed catenaries all our lives. “Catenary, in mathematics, a curve that describes the shape of a flexible hanging chain or cable—the name derives from the Latin catenaria (“chain”). Any freely hanging cable or string assumes this shape, also called a chainette, if the body is of uniform mass per unit of length and is acted upon solely by gravity”. (Britannica.com) So this would include things such as a suspension bridge, a clothesline, or a ship’s anchor chain to mention a few.

It was a very muggy and damp start to the day as we headed out the back door.
This was the first big web. The dew laden web seemed to only be half there.

A square web!
Meshweaver webs!

A horizontal orbweaver’s web next to a meshweaver’s web on a Prairie Parsley.

Thistle seeds caught in the orbweaver’s web. Bet that was annoying for the spider.

The Texas Thistle had multiple webs of different species.

A really giant orbweaver’s web.

Finally the last line. 😉 The line covered a distance of about eight feet. Incredible! So certainly you observed all the catenaries in the webs above as well.

Thanks Jim for introducing me to a new word!

How Did This Butterfly Get So Old?

Bees Get All the Love. Won’t Someone Think of the Moths?

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.

8 Comments

  1. Gaudi used the catenary principle to deign his cathedral in Barcelona – hadn’t thought about all those spider webs strung between vegetation. They certainly were very visible on todays fog!

    1. Yes there were lots of web that became visible this morning. Which was nice because we didn’t run through them or in other words didn’t get a face full. 🤣

  2. I checked with my personal physicist and he knew exactly what a catenary is. It started a whole new topic of conversation. 🙂

  3. Those webs are all gorgeous with the dew pointing out all the intricate weaving. So neat!!!
    As we were walking up to the house the owner was telling us about their hummingbird nest. All the while a very upset Bell’s Vireo was really fussing at us. My first clue it wasn’t a hummingbird. While would this vireo be so upset if it wasn’t her nest? Then I saw that it hung instead of perched on a branch. I usually see 1 Bell’s Vireo nest each year and they were singing around all of the area we hiked. I hate telling someone they are wrong but they took it very well. What is funny is when I went back to take a photo of the nest I couldn’t even see the bird in it. It wasn’t until I loaded it on our computer that I saw she was in it. That was almost as exciting as our tame deer giving birth to twins yesterday evening about 50 yards from our cabin. Mom’s eat the afterbirth. I felt for her having to push out two of those little sweeties. I told my Dad that she was so huge this year. He said maybe she is having twins. Next day, yep.

    1. Thanks Kathy for sharing further details! Really cool abot the deer. Always special to witness nature events! I am in awe!

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