Tag Archives: orb spider webs

Black Glass

Malpais hikerOn the Malpais, the McCarty’s lava flow, only three thousand years old. The surface looks fresh as yesterday, like Kilauea’s: so crevassed and glassy that Jan said, “On the Malpais, you don’t bruise.” We kept a sharp lookout for rattlesnakes—there’s sure to be a black morph.

The perfect, trembling webs of orb spiders stretched across the black fissures as if to draw the shattered rock together.


My pencil fell out of my pack; I took these notes on a three-by-five card by scratching with a rock.

At the top of the acequia was a tunnel in the side of the mountain, originally a mine. I couldn’t see into it—it was dark and the day was bright. But away back in there I could make out a reddish door; the sound of water came from behind it. Across the square black tunnel mouth orb spiders had built three perfect webs, one after another.