People might take me to be a poor house-keeper because of the number of cobwebs I allow in my house. The truth is, I love spiders.
They are loners. They don’t run around in herds as though they need the security and assurance of a crowd. They can adapt to any environment, indoors or outdoors. They don’t chase prey. Prey come to them. Carpe diem! They seize the moment. When the opportunity presents itself, they strike at just the right time.
Instead of treating cobwebs as dirt traps and unsightly, I think they add beauty and character to my house. No I’m not Morticia of the Adam’s family. And I can’t understand why spiders are associated with spooky, haunted houses. Maybe it comes back to poor house-keeping. An empty house with no lodgers to wipe away cobwebs or maybe just quiet, unseen lodgers. Ooo, creepy.
Just a week ago, I visited the Reject Shop and this display was at the cashier’s counter. Spiders everywhere to celebrate Halloween. Come on, don’t give my pals a bad rap.
Now it is true you will often not see a spider on cobwebs because spiders move on once their webs get dirty and dusty. So for this reason, I do get rid of a lot of cobwebs but when spidies are home, I don’t.
Once I was fortunate to have a black spider manning a lovely cobweb on my glass window. As I worked in front of this window, he kept me company, lurking in the background while I hammered away on the laptop.
Occasionally I would raise my head to look out the window and glance over at him. He usually had an insect or two in snare. Sometimes, when got lucky, I would see him do a bungee jump from the top window pane to the bottom. Whenever I caught that out of the corner of my eye, I would stop working to give him my undivided attention.
He would just hang mid-air bouncing slightly. Then he would walk on air, or least give that impression. If you looked very closely, you could see that he was walking on a thin web.
On one particular day I was annoyed with a fly. It had been bothering me for hours and suddenly it flew straight into my black spider’s cobweb and was trapped.
I watched the spider move swiftly. He wrapped his long legs around the fly and miraculously there were these silk threads shooting out of the spider’s belly, encircling the fly. It reminded me of those machines at the airport where you mount your suitcase and have clear plastic going round and round your suitcase as it spins. When the machine stopped your luggage was tightly cocooned within shiny white plastic.
The fly struggled less and less and finally it was hardly visible in the silky cocoon that had formed around it. Although I have seen so many dead insects on cobwebs, that was the first time I saw a spider in action on a live prey. Later during summer when the flies got unbearable in the kitchen, I would have to swat them and sometimes I would walk over and drop a dead fly onto the net for my friend, the black spider.
Cobwebs are most beautiful after the rain when they glisten with the raindrops in the glint of the first rays of the sun.
I understand the fear of poisonous spiders and we should be careful to protect ourselves and our animals but random fear of ALL spiders is unnecessary. We do have a Redback spider living in our compost bin. She is beautiful. She is also one of the ten most poisonous spiders in Australia equivalent to the North American Black Widow. We make sure there are no eggs around. Other than that we just let her be.