Thursday, March 11, 2010

Come into my parlour...

There's a Golden Orb spider resident in my front garden. Every day (or night, I think they're nocturnal) she spins a new web, attaching the anchor strands between the house and a tree, or my car and the tree. The web is not quite as huge as it appears here - this looks like it should belong to a people eating arachnid! - but is a good two to three feet across. The silk is incredibly strong if you walk into it.

A couple of weeks ago, an unfortunate door-to-door salesman had a very close encounter with Ms Orb. I'm not sure how he missed it on his way to the door (maybe cut across the lawn), but as he left he ran face first into the massive spider web. Poor man emitted a very high pitched, girly shriek. It was getting toward twilight and the spider was active: I saw her run across his hair, down his back and make her escape via his trouser leg into the grass, so at least |I could reassure him that he was spider-free (I didn't go into detail about how she escaped). He spent a good ten minutes sitting on my front fence, shaking, muttering under his breath and wiping spider silk from his person. I'll bet he has nightmares.

I quite like my spider neighbour. And yes, she has trapped me, more than once and scampered across my head. She's beautiful, and I like looking at her creations. They're small miracles of design and function.

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