Fall Showing: Yellow mums, scarecrows with smiles,
pumpkins positioned at the welcoming corner of my lawn.
Two identical spiders with silken thread, spun protein,
tensile strength greater than my bones and half the
strength of steel, strategically placed for the fall showing,
one hanging by the front steps, the other on the back deck,
identical twins as far as I can tell. Uninvited guests.
From my memory template of scary spiders, Arachnids that catch
all the attention in the news, there’s the hobo, the wolf and its
oversized variant the tarantula, brown recluse, black widow,
and the orb with yellow stripes – the writing spider. Daddy said
that if this spider wrote a name on its web, the person was
doomed. Daddy also told me that Farmer McGreggor lived
across the railroad tracks near my house and if I ventured
in that direction I would suffer the same fate as Peter Rabbit,
I would be an unsuspecting fly caught in a spider’s web.
These rather ordinary house guests camping on my posts
wove their way into my days in an untidy, cob web fashion;
brown with a bit of a striped effect; in a species of 50,000
these are regarded simply as domestic house spiders.
Despite my love for E. B. White’s Charlotte Web and the itsy
bitsy spider who did not learn his lesson well, repeatedly
climbing the spout despite the warnings about rain,
I do have not a familial relationship with spiders.
Cool webs, threatening fangs and creepy legs.
My rocker becomes an observation post as the porch
dweller grows bolder with daytime appearance,
and bigger with the insect feasts. Much of the time
the acrobat curls into a ball, eight legs tucked tight,
swaying in mid-air, all head/mouthpiece, and abdomen,
until the invisible web quivers and legs spread in every
direction; an unsuspecting prey is nabbed, stuck tight,
wrapped in silken thread. An occasional lucky wasp touches
the steely stickiness and escapes with a forceful thrust.
Then brown spider whispers dag nabit, – missed this time
Nights are growing colder, the food supply source diminishes
with the approach of all-hallowed- eve. I grow faintly wistful
knowing that soon my house guests will complete their task,
leaving a nest-full of eggs, offspring to take over the world
when spring arrives once again, spiderlings instinctively
knowing how to survive the cold, finding crevices for shelter,
and warmth wrapped in their egg sacs. Not so scary then.
explore more at http://www.explorit.org/science/spider.html