September 2012

The Patience of Spiders

They have chosen the perimeter of a porch at lake’s edge, perhaps for the glorious sunsets, but more likely for the steady traffic of midges and the occasional mosquito, unsuspecting entrees for their evening meal.   Their webs form a natural screen with a built-in repair crew. Occasionally a human will decide to clear out the “cobwebs,” only to discover, next morning, that the beams have been redecorated with an elaborate network of knitted lace.

The human could be forgiven, I suppose, for not realizing that the webs are active and their knitters extremely patient. During the day they are hard to spot. But at dusk each appears, sitting atop her web. One evening I counted 30, just across the porch front, in a range of sizes and types, from wolf spiders with bodies nearly two inches long to their tiny cousins of barely a millimeter. (Arachnophobes may prefer to have dinner in the house.)

Read more: Notes September 2012