Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Fun With Spiders
Readers, meet Madonna, one of our resident orb-weaving garden spiders. She's very chic, no? I just love her gawgeous markings and her 'tude. Just the other day, I had the privilege of watching her catch a teensy little fly who had been unlucky enough to get caught in her lair. Whoomph! Madonna was on him like a debutante at a Dolce and Gabbana sample sale. Fascinating, if just a wee bit creepy.
Madonna's home, part deaux:
Madonna's not the only spider in the 'hood, either. There are three others just like her, weaving their orb-shaped spider condo webs up and down between the beams that make up our front porch, all of them quite complicated and multi-layered. All the better to catch spider snacks, I assume. Then again, if the average spider fare is so small, why the ginormous webs? Is this some kind of spider posturing, an arachnidian keeping up with the Joneses?
So I did a little experiment. Yesterday, I messed with the webs. I didn't destroy them, mind you, I simply de-attached the strings of silk that connected them from one beam to another (and in one case, one beam to the ground itself, so you couldn't walk under the porch in several places), letting the main orb section sort of sag and hang. No worries, though. This morning, I went back out there and all three ladies had built them right back up – even larger and more complicated than before.
And one of the Madonna's, she was right there in the middle of her web, glaring at me with those spider eyes of hers. If it weren't for the fact that I am a bazillion times larger than she and don't fly, I'd be lunch.