About the Author

Barry Bath

Guest contributor

Barry grew up in Johannesburg and knew from a young age that he had a true love for the African bush yet it was only after spending several years in the corporate world in Europe, followed by a two year sabbatical of traveling ...

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on A Silky Autumn Morning in the Mist

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Barry, I loved spiders🤗

They are fascinating creatures!

Fascinating , thanks Barry.

Beautiful pictures and very interesting topic! Spiders are little fascinating creepy creatures

Thank you Barry, this is really interesting.

Hi Barry, a very interesting article on silk(worms) and spiders and maybe the use of a combination of both in future medical science. Nature is just incredible.

Barry very interesting story about the spiders and the way that they spin their webb. The silk glands and the spinnerats is used to spin the webb. Fascinating and quite ingenious if you think about it. I am petrified of spiders and would definitely not have them near me. The birds also use their webbs for their own nests. Thanks for this interesting story.

A lot of people do find spiders scary but like you say they are fascinating and play an important role in the ecosystem.

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Good morning Barry, ..
You have done quite the indepth presentation about the “creepy-crawly critters” within the bush! .. As it goes without saying, yet I’ll still ask: How many of the spiders are venomous, and are there “encounters” amidst humans, do the spiders have any affect on the wild life?

Hi Mama Lioness, interestingly almost all spiders are venomous apart from 2 families. However, not all spiders are dangerous to humans. Here in South Africa we have a “big 5” of spiders that include the following: 1) Sac Spider 2) Black & Brown Button (Widow) Spiders 3) Violin Spider 4) Baboon Spider 5) Six Eyed Sand Spider.
Almost all of these spiders need to be seriously provoked before they will actually bite a human and so there are very few actual encounters with these spiders.

In terms of the affect they have on wildlife; a huge impact! When we drive around Londolozi and see the sheer number of webs around it makes me realize how many insects must be caught by the webs and so they play a huge part in controlling the insect populations.

Today I definitely learned a few things. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Barry this is a fascinating blog. You have given me a totally new insight into spiders. My flesh crawls when I see a spider – I am a transplanted Aussie and we have Huntsman spiders that are sometimes as big as the palm of your hand. Even now as an adult I can feel my flesh crawl when I see a spider of any size. I now see that they really do play a big part in the grand scheme of things. It would be amazing if they could apply the web making to medical technology – maybe one day. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

Hi Leonie, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the blog. The Huntsman spiders Down Under are certainly quite intimidating and I remember when I first saw one I was amazed at how quick they are!

Very interesting, but I think I’d rather not genetically modify animals:-)

Hi Linda, it’s certainly a controversial subject and one that I lean more on the side of not tampering as sometimes we don’t know the consequences further down the line.

After reading your article, I also found out that scientists in Japan have genetically modified silkworms to secrete the human protein collagen. In their cocoons, the insects produced both silk and collagen, which is used to generate artificial skin and cartilage and in cosmetic surgery to fill out lips and wrinkles. I too have concerns with genetic manipulation, but if it means repairing severed nerves or repairing ligaments then I am for it.

Hi Linda, I am definitely going to read up on that too. Silkworms are incredible little creatures.

This was such an interesting blog Barry and I especially liked the leading photo taken in the mist. Spiders aren’t my favorite insect but I gained a greater appreciation while watching the golden orb at work, even taking a few photos. It just proves all creatures great or small have importance in the ecosystem.

Interesting and well written. Thank you for all the information on silk.

Barry what a fascinating read ! You certainly revealed a lot of new facts I wasn’t aware of 😊. However I total agree with the closing paragraph ..in my view it is time that we stopped taking and then abusing the use of natures own creations to aid the longitivty of man or to use in some other way to feed moneymakers and power. Its time to give back to nature and Mother Earth., it’s time to reverse who gets to enjoy a full and glorious life.

I couldn’t agree with you more Cally. As much as I find the subject (gene manipulation) interesting, I am not an advocate of it.

Fascinating intersection of nature with technology!

Thank you Barry for a most interesting read on “Silk” ! From spiders and also from silk worms. And thanks for the pics too! Keep it up. Wendy M

Thank you Barry for such a great time at Founders Camp. we can’t stop talking about what fun we had. Hope to be back soon. Tricia

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