Thursday, October 13, 2011

Creepy Crawly—In Its Place

Lately, I feel as though I ran the zoo, even though I have just two animals. I need the dog to go out, but the cat tries to squeeze through and dart out the door while the dog stands by and watches. I grab the cat with one hand and snag the dog's collar with the other and shift them to their rightful places—the cat inside and the dog going potty. Today, they both got out, and the dog chased the cat, and the cat ran up the hill where I couldn't get to him. And then he slid under the fence and took off through the neighborhood where he roamed for at least 30 minutes. I just wanted to sit down.

Along with the mammals I seem to have some creepy crawlies to watch as well, spiders that have camped out in my yard. Actually, last night I walked out onto the enclosed back porch and was startled by a big, meaty, black spider that was meandering across the floor. He didn't seem startled by my gasp and "holy crap" outburst, but he was startled when I turned my empty glass over his fat body and trapped him in his spot. He spent the night there, and Husband killed him this morning. I felt he was too big to squish. The job would have required a mop up.

But back to my yard, there is a whole host of funnel spiders that scurry when I approach their weird funnel webs, and one that hangs from the bottom of the garage door when I open it, and there are your typical non-threatening small spiders you'd expect to find in the window sill. And then there is this—look closely between the green trees:

 This big mother (I'm not being vulgar here. Really, I think she's laying eggs) has spun one heck of a sturdy web between two of our evergreens. The thing withstands wind and rain and cold and heat, and this spider is here on duty day after day. From what I can tell, this is an orb weaver spider, a biter under threat but not dangerous. To give you an idea of the size of this spider, the body is about the size of a shelled peanut, and the leg span is the size of a half-dollar. Big.

Not dangerous, the Internet says, but it makes my skin scrawl. As an exercise in tolerance, I check on it every day, sometimes several times a day. I stand as close as I can to this web and watch the spider form its work and tend to its food. I swear she writes words in this knitted wonder, something like "Some Pig" I believe I saw the other day. You can see some of her scrawling just below her left leg.

Spiders are unsettling to me, but the thing I can stand about this one is that it has its place. It rests in this spot and never leaves. Should I go to the web some day and find it empty, that's when I'll be freaked, because if the thing isn't in its place, then where might it be? On my back porch? In my shoes? Crawling on my neck while I sleep?

A place for everything and everything in its place. This spider has its place, and I have mine. As long as those two things don't intersect, we'll all be fine.


dive said...

Yay for Spider Season! Spiders are our friends, Robyn. Never squish them. Perhaps watching Mrs. Orb Weaver will help you begin to admire them.
The spider in your back porch was not after you, but helping keep your home clear of unhealthy flies and bugs.
Give the orb weaver a name and add her to Tiger and Baxter in your list of animal friends.

Scout said...

I think I'll just start calling her Mrs. Weaver, then. And I'm pretty sure the spider on the back porch WAS after me. Otherwise, if would have found some other place to exist.

PF said...

Ew, ew, ew,. I am SO with you on the spider watch. We have some very healthy ones spinning indestructible webs around our outside porch and garage lights. Very hefty ones, I might add. Eee gads and holy crap!!! Cannot. stand. spiders.