Living in downtown Chicago the two constant nuisances you can count on are cup-shaking vagrants, and spiders.
Every Spring they emerge from the farm fields of Michigan, shoot silk parachutes out of their butts, and catch a ride to Chicago on the wind. The spiders, that is. Not the vagrants.
For millions of them, the journey west ends in the eaves, spandrels, and spires of Chciago’s skyscrapers. They set up shop hundreds of feet in the air, spinning vast networks of webs across the glittering man-made mountain range in order to catch and devour the lake flies from the east, and various agricultural pests from the west.
It’s something of a horror show for the squeamish, and even the window washers are no match for their tenacity. We’ve seen windows near the top of the John Hancock Center (875 North Michigan Avenue) covered in spiders again within hours of being cleaned.
In the photo above, one of the season’s last hold-outs maintains its web in the night. A carefully-positioned cameraphone with the flash activated illuminates the threads in the darkness, revealing a spooky Halloween scene.