Adventures from Back of Beyond

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Spider Man

Can't really say this one is from Back of Beyond. It's more like front of beyond.

OK, it's from my bathroom.

In a corner near a trash basket lives a little spider. Harmless, nonvenomous, similar to a daddy long legs. Nocturnal, I usually see her (probably her) when brushing my teeth before bed.

For many years my first inclination when seeing a spider or any insect indoors for that matter was to kill it. Slowly, I gained an understanding and appreciation for spiders.

As predators, they actually help keep the insect population down and manageable. And superb predators they are, from spinning different kinds of silk in the web, to lightning fast speed of capture, to courage of defending themselves. So unless one of these worthy creatures living indoors is venomous (very rare), I just tend to leave them alone now.

But at the moment this poor girl has spun a web which doesn't get much business. Just not very many insects out in January, especially the winged variety that gets caught in spider webs. I began to feel sorry for her. She waits patiently, every night, on alert for just a little sustenance.

Certain members of the insect world and their relatives such as spiders and scorpions can go weeks or even months without eating. That's what this poor girl seems to be doing. But she hangs in there, night after night, waiting.

One recent night while brushing my teeth, I spied a little lone moth, very unusual to see this time of year, and I decided to try and help my little arachnid friend. I carefully killed the moth with a tissue, without crushing it too badly. Then I tried to sort of flick it into the web...but missed. The thing just stuck to the wall near the web. The spider did nothing. I watched for awhile. Nothing.

But guess morning that little moth was gone! This hopefully tides my little friend over for awhile. And she still comes out every night, like clockwork, waiting.