Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spider Woman (or, Evidence That I May Have Gone Off the Deep End)

We had a terrible mosquito problem this year -- they were eating all of us alive. So we purposely left up several spider webs that appeared on our small front porch. Spiders are good luck, anyway. We rarely saw the actual spiders, but we saw plenty of evidence of their effectiveness in the form of trapped bloodsuckers.

Last week, this appeared.

It's a spider egg sac. My first instinct was to remove it -- to toss those suckers as far away from the house as possible. Then I looked more closely, and saw the spider.

She was never openly visible in her web before the egg sacs appeared. Now she was perched just below her sacs, guarding them. I decided to watch for a few days.

The next night I saw her spinning one more little bubble below the five pictured. The night after that, she started encasing all six bubbles in a thicker cocoon. Every time I passed the web, she sat vigil under her eggs.

I started thinking about Charlotte's Web -- in the book, Charlotte died after the eggs hatched. I did some research -- for some, but not all, spiders, egg-laying is their last major act.

And this is when Crazy came to town. I started relating to the spider. She'll do anything to keep her eggs safe, I thought. She won't leave them, even though this places her out in the open where creatures like me come stare at her. This could be her last shot.

There is no way I will be the one to kill her babies.

This may mean that we'll soon be overrun by tiny spiders. If they keep to themselves, we'll all be fine. If they start messing with my baby, that's another story.


dcpeg said...

What a charming story and great photo! I usually freak at the sight of a spider and a bunch of spiders would send me over the edge!!

But, you're right about their usefulness. Still, I'd be happier if birds would take out the mosquitos so the spiders could make their homes elsewhere than close to me!!

Very courageous of you to leave the nest alone. Mothers of all species are sympatico.

Andrew said...

Remember, in Charlotte's Web almost all the babies fly away. So you won't have spider infestation.

areyoukiddingme said...

I generally leave things alone, unless they're interfering with my daily life.

When I was pregnant, we had a pair of robins make a nest in one of our trees. They laid some eggs, and the eggs eventually hatched. We checked on the babies all the time, and watched the parents flying to and fro with food. At the same time, we discovered that there were some raccoons living in the woods behind our house. One day, I came home from work, and saw some feathers on the driveway and back patio. I ran and checked on the baby birds, but they were all gone and there was a long scratch on the tree trunk. I knew the raccoons had been there. That day, we called our village and made them come out and set traps for the raccoons - I was so upset.

Caseystay said...

Ever since my philosophy teacher asked us to consider that all living things have some type of consciousness, I've not been able to kill any bugs. So thank you for telling your story; now I don't feel like a freak anymore ;)