Monday, July 25, 2011

Along Came a Spider

One night I went outside to gather some oregano for an improvisational bean dip. I approached my patch of herbs with a pair of scissors in hand and jumped as I beheld the most enormous spider web I have ever seen. It stretched from my house to a nearby cedar tree.

The most massive spider I have ever seen (that wasn’t tarantula in a small plastic carrying case with holes on the top) was constructing the outer rings. I suspect that it is one of those spiders from Australia that survive underground for years without water and eat honey badgers. Boy Scout points to anyone who can confirm this baseless speculation.

I ran into the house to fetch my camera-savvy brother. Perhaps I would have found this late night session of nature photography and flashing lights dangerous and invasive were it not for the “PHOTOGRAPH ME” message scrawled in iridescent web. I stood nearby holding an LED flashlight so that my brother could get a good view of the spider.

As we looked on, a fly was caught in the tremendous web and the spider swiftly dove upon it and wound it up like an unwilling bobbin. She left it alone, squirming in an iridescent straightjacket, and went on with her weaving. “This is nature!” I cried.

I carefully picked a few sprigs of oregano that were not bolstering the web to prevent my hand from being mummified in a similar fashion. Nature can be cruel, my friends.

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