Stepped out on the front porch last night to take in the air (damp, very damp), admire the Frank Lloyd Wright bugs (skinny fliers, geometrically patterned in orange and electric green with black lines between the colors like stained glass: they resemble nothing so much as a doll-house sized FLW wall sconce) and say Hi to Tam, reading on the sidewalk. When I returned to the porch, I noticed -- nearly ran into -- a very large, pale spider busily finishing a web at the front of it.
It was a big web; the anchoring strands defined a box about seven feet high by five wide and the most closely-woven portion had a diameter of more than a yard. The spider was working in toward the center with about a two-foot circle left to go, busy as can be.
This morning, there was no sign of net or the weaver. I mentioned this to Tam -- I'm used to writing* spiders, who will pick a spot and stay as long as pickings are good, raising a pure-dee ruckus if you brush against their handiwork-- and she said, "Yes, these rarely keep a web up." (No fan of spiders, she nevertheless appreciates having volunteer bugcatchers).
Call me Ellie Mae, but I kinda like the idea of a nearly thumb-sized critter that hangs out its nets every evening, seines for dinner and then packs up before the dawn, leaving not a trace. It was a little jarring to encounter the hunter (or is it a trapper?) at close range, unexpectedly, but given such careful habits, I'll not complain.
* Accents: the first time Tam mentioned 'em, asking if we have them in Yankeeland -- we more often called the black and yellow beauties "banana spiders" when I was young -- I heard "riding spiders." It's a disconcerting image. I don't want to visit where they have riding spiders, no matter how well-trained. No, siree. You just keep those. Please.
2 months ago