Posted by: Mindy | May 10, 2010

Farewell my spidery friends

While having a rare moment to myself and reading “Her Fearful Symmetry” which I quite enjoyed, I was distracted by something outside swaying in the breeze. It was an orb weaver, brought undone by the cold mornings, although this was late-ish afternoon, swinging from a piece of silk from her spinnaret attached to her web, with all eight legs splayed out. I couldn’t leave her like that, not only because it was making me motion sick, but because I’m rather fond of our orb weavers of which we had at least 10 camped around the house at various times over summer. I went outside to pull her down, assuming that she had already perished in the cold, but found myself unable to grasp the web in my fingers because there was a small but incredibly loud voice in my head screaming “spiderspiderspiderspispispidspi” (it seriously did get incoherent after a while). So I went back inside and got the fly swat and tried to break the thread but it was too strong and the web just ran over the top of it and the spider got closer and closer to the swat bit and I was becoming convinced that suddenly it was going to race down toward me. But anyway, I managed to break the web and the spider fell onto the deck with a thump. And then moved. I was simultaneously horrified that I might have hurt her, terrified that she might somehow still run at me, and a little smug (see I told you she was still alive and spiderspiderspider).  The next morning the hubby went out to put her into the garden. He lifted her by one leg, and she moved, and he confessed later that he went “Ahhrgghjighhh” and threw her into the garden. This last bout of cold has no doubt finished her. There are a couple left, ones who built webs high up under the verandah roof, but I think eventually the cold from the roof will finish them off too. We get frost forming on the roof in winter so even that protected spot won’t be safe forever.

There was one spider who came down from her web weeks ago, presumably laid her eggs in the garden and then took up residence near the back door waiting to die. Waiting, waiting, waiting, about two weeks. I felt increasingly embarrassed for her everytime I saw her. It would be like giving away all your stuff and then discovering that the spaceship isn’t coming until next month. I mean what do you do? Hang around and look embarrassed as far as I can tell.

I also found a three-legged huntsman on top of the bin the other day. All three legs on one side. That poor fella’s had a tough time. Apparently when it moults it can re-grow the legs. I wonder how it will eat in the meantime, but it was pretty fat and healthy looking so I wish it luck.


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