Saturday, September 19

Come Into My Parlour...


said the spider to the fly. This lady spider presents her underbelly for this photo; she builds her web in a few hours, only to have it torn asunder by rain and/or wind - and gets right back to building it again. I posted about her a few days ago. After that post I had to move her; mr. kenju asked that she be taken from the kitchen doors, so I gently raised her off the door onto my broom and deposited her in the ivy under my rambling rose bush. I figured that was a good place for her to catch dinner. Within a few hours, she had spun a new web from several rose canes to the ivy below. But the following morning, she was back on the kitchen door, with a new web. That web got destroyed by wind and rain (yet again), so after hanging out for a day on the very top of the storm door, she has now moved to the other door. I read that they like to be where lights are (I am sure she knows that attracts bugs) and so as long as she stays on the left-side door, I don't mind her being there.

I would like to know why she bounces whenever we come to the door. She begins to move her legs and bounce the web back and forth. I suspect it is her warning to stay away, but I'm not sure. It sure makes getting a good photo difficult. The only reason I got this one is that she was just beginning to weave a new web, and she knew she didn't have enough of it yet to be able to bounce. I took a video of her doing it, but for some reason, it won't load onto the blog for me.

"Last Lessons of Summer" by Margaret Maron, a local North Carolina writer, has a short section about a spider like this one (Pps. 111-112):

"......something moved on the periphery of her vision. She turned in the chair to see what it was and instinctively recoiled. There, just inches away from her face, was a huge spider. The span of those long, thin legs looked to be a good two to three inches across, and she jumped up to find a newspaper or something with which to swat it before she realized it was on the other side of the glass.

It hung upside down in the precise center of a circular web that had to be almost two feet in diameter and stretched from the near rim of the planter box just outside the window to the window itself. A narrow white band of Z's ran down the center of the web.

Repelled and fascinated at the same time........This one held its ground, unafraid of her nearness, and she was glad for the glass between them.....its colors were strangely beautiful, a velvety black interspersed with bands of bright yellow and clear white. She fetched a strong magnifying glass from Grandmother's desk, but even though she was only a few inches away from those legs and that body, the spider remained oblivious until she accidentally bumped the window where one edge of the web was attached. Then it swung around toward the noise."

There is another passage in the book about how to feed a spider like this if she fails to trap any prey, but I can't find it right now. As soon as I finish the book, I'll look for it again. I thought it was an interesting bit of synchronicity that I would begin reading a book with that in it, just as I was seeing a spider like that, so up close and personal.

18 comments:

Chancy said...

Most determined spider.

She bounces because she is preparing to snare you in her web.

Yum Yum.

John said...

You really drew me in with that one! Awesome photo! BTW spiders give me the creeps. I'm scared of them ever since my Mom got bit on the boob by a Brown Recluse!

I've been sick, so have to do some backtracking on your blog! I love your new title banner of your beautiful arrangements!

Gilly said...

Spiders can be very determined! After all, that's the way they have to live!

Do you like Margaret Maron's books? She is one of my favourite authors, but too expensive to buy in the UK (I usually by "used" from Amazon, but they don't appear in UK sellers sites) so I have to rely on my locallibrary getting her books. So far they have been very good.

PI said...

I'm nervous of spiders - especially after our visit to Oz but I think the webs are beautiful and feel guilty if I brush them down.
I always think of the poem of Robert the Bruce and the spider.

bobbie said...

A beautiful photograph! And a beautiful post. I love spiders and their webs.

Granny Annie said...

Love of spiders falls in a mixture of categories. You need to be selective in the type you enjoy. Tarantulas get a bad rap and are huge and scary looking but the ones around here are not deadly. Meanwhile you can view the quarter sized scar on my husbands knee where a tiny, brown recluse spider took a bite and had us involved with doctors for months trying to heal the gaping wound in his leg. Select your spiders like you select your friends -- very carefully:)

Arkansas Patti said...

Good shot of your spider and I like how you considered her needs. I used to be terrified of spiders but a blogger that no longer does it, use to post amazing creature photos and with the safety of a computer screen between us, I realized some are quite beautiful. Now I can view with interest.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I love spiders! Great shot!

kenju said...

I got this email from the author this morning, after sending one to her:

"What a delightful letter to find in my mailbox this morning. I enjoyed reading what you'd written about my favorite spider. The "bouncing" occurs when the spider thniks a prey that is too big to handle has gotten onto her web. Usually a few bounces will shake the too-big grasshopper loose. As long as you don't actually breathe on her or vibrate the web, you can get close enough to count the hairs on her legs if you like. As you've discovered, she's very timid.

And why do I keep calling it "her" and "she"? Because this time of year, only females are on a web. Here's how you can tell the sexes of every spider: See the pedipalps that extend from her "forehead" like an extra pair of stubby legs? If they are straight, it's a female. If they are clubbed at the end, it's a male. When the male matures, he spins a little web, deposits his sperm on it, sucks it up in his pedipalps and goes looking for a female. I may have put this all in the book. If so, forgive the repetition. I've stayed up many a night to watch the egg-laying process, which occurs only at night and after she's so swollen you want to give her a C-section.


Anyhow, for your amusement, I'm appending my 9/21/08 entry from my website blog."


All best,


Margaret Maron
(www.MargaretMaron.com)

Joy Des Jardins said...

You are much more tolerant of spiders than I am Judy...and I have to admit that is a beautiful photo. Great post. I have my share of little critters around my house.

Darlene said...

That's a great shot of Ms. Spider. I am not afraid of them, but I got bit on my stomach by a large one when at my son's house and I give them plenty of room after that experience.

Sage said...

Beautiful spider (and I liked your thoughts on marriage, too, in the preceeding post)

robin andrea said...

What a great post! I love knowing how carefully and kindly you treat your spiders. We do that too. As long as they're not going to bite us, we're okay with their webs out and about. I do catch and move spiders that get inside. Otherwise, it's a live and let live arrangement.

Ginnie said...

Your spider actually looks like a piece of jewelry. Lovely but not anything I'd like in the house!

colleen said...

My, my, like the spider to the fly. Jump right ahead in my web ~ Rolling Stones.

There's a reason why spiders are part of Halloween. They are all over the place starting now till then.

Rachel said...

I came over from Grannie Annie's blog. I found this interesting because there was a spider like this on my neighbor's garage door yesterday (I'm feeding their dog while they are gone), and when I got close it started all that bouncing thing. I had never seen that before! I took the web down and the spider got into the grass and crawled about 5 feet away from the garage and then got as high on a blade of grass as she/he could and sat there. I watched for awhile but finally left it there. I'll have to go back and see if it build back in the same spot again!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

FASCINATING, my dear! Amd what a GREAT GREAT Picture! It all makes spiders more friendly, in a way....And I've ALWAYS admired the incredible beauty of their Webs!

Shionge said...

This is so cool :D Hiya, I came by from Grannie Annie :D