Tuesday, August 17, 2010

there she weaves by night and day

I used to be terrified of spiders. If I saw one in the house, I would suck him up with the vacuum and then have nightmares about him crawling back out to get me. Not all spiders were bad, though--in high school my sister and I shared a bathroom and a little spider lived up in the skylight. We named him Kud'ar Mub'at (after the Star Wars novel character) and said hello to him whenever we came into the bathroom. Or maybe only I did that.

These days, I try to take a more balanced approach. Spiders are useful in that they keep all manner of other annoying insects out of my house, and they're pretty neat to look at when they're not crawling on me. There are a few interesting California spider friends I've met lurking outside our house, and instead of freaking out about them, I've been working on identifying them.

Meet my friends:

This is a barn spider. She disappears all day and comes back to her web on our sliding glass door at night. Tonight I watched her rebuild a section of web.

This is a banded garden spider. Look at how huge her web is! It's woven all throughout the bush outside my office window. She never seems to move from that spot on the web.

I haven't identified this guy yet. He was hanging out at the top of the barn spider's web one day a while back, during the daytime when she goes into hiding, and I haven't seen him again.

I also have a teeny-tiny black widow living inside my kitchen cabinetry. She dangles off the edge of the cabinets by the floor sometimes, but hustles right back under the drawer if there's even the slightest movement of air. I haven't yet been able to take her picture--she's shy!

Does anybody else have cool spider neighbors? Have you ever named a spider?

P.S. Name the poem quoted in the title and the movie in which the main character quotes it and you will be officially crowned the emperor or empress of awesome.


Salt said...

I always leave the little spiders in my house alone. One crawled up the wall last night by my head while I was working and I said hi and went about my business. The big ones inside bother me though. And I don't know how I'd do with a black widow in my cabinet.

Outdoors spiders are okay though. As long as they aren't trying to kill me.

Jessica (Bayjb) said...

There is one that lives outside my boss' window, which is amazing because it's 32 floors up. I haven't named her but I'm amazed it survives that high up with the harsher weather.