Eight legs… fangs… venomous, for some spiders are the things of nightmares! How often are they attributed to the positive effects that they have on the landscape and our lives?
PhotoVoice Chair and Picture Editor at the Department for International Development, Russell Watkins has donated prints of trees cocooned in spider’s webs. The image was taken in Pakistan’s Sindh province after the area had been affected by extreme flooding. Russell describes an eerie sight:
“In some parts of western Sindh around the town of Dadu, the flooding had been so extensive, and so prolonged, that every single tree for mile after mile had become cocooned in spider’s webs. It was an extraordinary sight, really quite spooky and surreal. Seemingly endless lakes of mill-pond-calm water, with cotton-candy trees reflected like mirrors. It was both beautiful and disturbing.”
When talking to local people he found that they celebrated the strange phenomenon because the spiders meant that they weren’t getting bitten by mosquitos. During the terrible difficulties that people were facing these spiders were an absolute blessing.
Russell’s images of the spiders webs has been widely admired and have been published by National Geographic, Wired magazine, Reuters, CNN, the BBC and Huffington Post. This image was selected as one of the Guardian’s Photographs of the Year.