Saturday, October 29, 2011

Autumn Leaves and Spider Webs. . .

Autumn evening at home.

Autumn out one kitchen window.

Autumn out the other kitchen window.
Impressive work.
Click to see better.

I was standing at the kitchen sink yesterday afternoon watching a spider build a web just outside the window, and I was sort of in awe. The spider's skill is impressive, and his work is tedious. And I have always come along behind him and knocked down his webs with my broom. Poor little spider. (By the way, did you know a spider's web is many times the strength of steel of the same diameter?)

I walked outside to watch more closely. Impressive. Tireless spider. I'm leaving this one alone.

Spiders spend their entire life span capturing and eating other insects (about 2,000 in a year).

He spends his entire lifetime catching insects, via his web, and I keep making him rebuild the thing, which must make it difficult for him to catch his quota of insects. That spider must get pretty hungry sometimes.

Even though spiders do a great deal of good for our environment, spiders are greatly feared by most of the population. Most spiders are killed only because they scare people, not because they are actually dangerous to humans.

Spiders do not attack in herds. Spiders do not lay in wait and attack people. Spiders do not lift the covers at night and crawl into bed to bite people as they are sleeping. Some spiders can jump but they are not intentionally jumping at humans to attack them. A spider generally bites a human because it was scared and bites to defend itself. Spiders generally prefer to live in undisturbed areas such as corners of the house or the eaves or in the garden where they can catch insects in peace.

Well, that's a relief! I think this will be news to my sister, who has an irrational fear of spiders, so I hope she's reading this. (Herds of spiders are not lying in wait to attack you, JoAnne, and that spider running across your floor is as panicked as you are. Haha.)

(Everything in italics above is from the California Poison Control System. I was tempted to do some editing, but kept it "as is.")

Here's a promotion from the UK for "spider love." I'm willing to tolerate spiders, appreciate their contribution to maintaining a healthy ecosystem, and admire their artistry. I'm even willing to co-habitate with a reasonable number of them (unless a brown recluse shows up), but I'm not sure I'm ready to love them:

Spider Love.

All is well! A busy mid-terms week just ended, and I have not expired. God is good in many ways. In every way. I hope your autumn days are as lovely as mine.


  1. Congratulations on finishing your midterms, Susan! I'm so glad to see evidence of your sense of humor, quite intact ;-).

    Go spiders!

  2. Hands across the ocean. I have been watching just such a spider at my kitchen window. It has an enormous web and the other day caught a wasp. I was able to see at close quarters the way it wrapped it in a cocoon (still struggling) and then detached it to carry it away to the corner where it rests. Then the window cleaners came and swept the web away.

  3. we have fears .. varied levels and focuses.
    mine? spiders.

    congrats on completing midterms though!!! :oD

  4. Haha, I don't usually knock down webs either because they are truly things of beauty and yes, that little spider has worked so hard to make it.
    And I wanted to say that the photo of your home in the evening is just LOVELY! It's looks as if it's saying, "Welcome. Come on in and make yourself at home in my coziness. Read a book, have some tea."
    :) Much love to you, M

  5. I also love that evening photo of your home. I admit that when I am out and about in a residential area, I like to look into people's windows and see warm light and bookshelves and comfortable chairs. Thanks for the peek into yours! :)

  6. And here's one more who caught her breath at first glimpse of your autumn evening at home photo. I am just like Heather when it comes to lamp-lit windows, especially in the cozy months of autumn and winter. And what bibliophile could not look and smile at a wallfull of beautiful books bathed in lamplight. Ohhhh....

    In the morning, I will share with my children your comments about spiders and the beautiful photos in the link. Though I do NOT want them in my house, I think they are fascinating and their webs are beautiful and wondrous.

    It was good to hear from you again, Susan. Glad all is well. :D


  7. You are doing great! You are an inspiration...Spanish?? A?? Wow!!! You get a sticker for that one! (I love stickers for just about every reason I can think of ).

    Say, do you still have your Kitchen blog? You had some great recipe ideas and I never got to write them down before it went into hiding.

  8. Kitchen Blog?!!! Susan, you're holding out on us!!!!! ;D


  9. The house has become a home - lovely.

  10. I am loving how your bookcases glow from outside your window. So cozy!

  11. Just stopping by to say I hope school is going well Susan. It hardly seems possible that Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
    I'll be back to visit when you have time!