Few situations could fill me with feelings of such contradiction as when this spider showed up sometime last week. Since then, I have been in a state of simultaneous awe and horror, admiration and revulsion. He built an elaborate web hanging from the posts of our front pergola. I’m telling you: this web was large and intricate. Delicate yet sturdy, like a huge piece of lace. Talk about Design Month! Talk about DIY! I tried to capture the web on the camera, and you can make out hints of it in the above photo, but I just couldn’t do it justice.
Then he moved his whole crazy kit-n-kaboodle over a few feet – or tore it all down and rebuilt it? (Talk about Renovations!) Then he did so again. Then he moved it back to the original location.
Even though I’m afraid of spiders, I’d love to see him in action, while building this amazing structure. As far as I can tell, he works at night. How long does it take him? Does he use blueprints? Headlamp? Or is the moon bright enough?
In lieu of staying up all night to spy on him, I looked up this short youtube video of one if his cousins at work:
This gave me a better idea of their process: it’s a circular thing, lots of roundabouts, some double backs. It’s like full-bodied knitting.
This isn’t the only design aspect I liked about this spider. I also dug his striped
tights um, legs. We are a household of striped socks, so I appreciated his effort in fitting in.
Still, he made me nervous. Whenever I saw him out there, I tried to squash the nasty impulse to swat him and his clever web down with a broom.
It was weird: the day after he hit town, so did one tiny pink rose. She took up residence in the garden, just below him. The next day, another even smaller one popped up, both of them unplanned, unexpected, and unplanted (at least by us):
(Or at least I think these are roses, please correct me if I’m wrong.)
I suspected this was some kind of reverse Charlotte/Wilbur kind of thing: the roses were trying to save the spider via distraction. And, in fact, it worked until… this weekend.
We were having people over for a BBQ and the seats on our front porch/pergola area (where I’d been avoiding since the spider had arrived) were only inches from his location. I didn’t want our guests to be cowering with fear, or convulsing with the heebie jeebies, or leaving as soon as they saw who was also “hanging around.” I imagined them saying, Hey, look, yeah…we gotta go. We have…something we forgot we have to do, before peeling out of our driveway at lightening speed.
So, in a moment when he wasn’t sitting on his web (maybe he was at work on a side project elsewhere) I swatted his house down. I did. I’m not proud. We had our BBQ and without any extra guests from the arachnid family. We remarked on the cute little roses that seemed to spring up out of nowhere and I ignored it when they glared at me resentfully.
When we woke up yesterday morning, sure enough, the spider web was back, in the same place, as intricate and strong as ever. The spider even had a bee in his clutches. All I could do was nod my head with respect.
Here’s to persistence. And to to design savvy. I guess if you’ve got a good thing going, you might as well stick with it, no matter who is trying to knock you down.