Scary Spiders Are Cool

Okay, I know this is way off topic, but… spiders are cool.  I admit I would freak out if one got on me, but I can’t help but love ’em.

The little guy (or gal, I suspect) on the right was camped out in an out-of-the-way corner of our front porch.   (If you enlarge the pic and look at the top center you’ll see a piece of the little zigzaggy ladder, called a stabilimenta, that some spiders weave into their webs.  Apparently spiders who weave such webs catch roughly one-third fewer bugs, but spiderologists (um, arachnologists?) think the web serves as a flight warning for birds, serving the same purpose as those flashing lights they put on the top of tall buildings.  Anyway, it was a gorgeous spider but she disappeared after a couple of days.  :(

Now this little lady isn’t as pretty and is a lot more shy than the one above, but she’s been living in our shower for about a month.  You heard right: even my wife thinks it’s kinda neat to have this plain-looking, spindly-legged critter hanging out (literally) up in the corner.  She’s never caught a bug that we’ve seen, so we have no idea when, where or if she gets her food, but she seems fine.  For what it’s worth, she’s about twice as big as the picture; the enlargement doesn’t show as much detail as I’d like, but hey.  And in case you think I’m some kind of animal rights extremist, rest assured I’d kill a cockroach or a mosquito – or a black widow – if I found one, and we do have a pest control service come out once a quarter.  (Uh oh – that makes me wonder what’ll happen to Shower Girl if she’s still around when the bug people come back around…)

[Footnote: The day before I finally posted this, Shower Girl disappeared.  We haven’t found a body, but I suspect she might have gone down the drain.  Alas, poor spider!]

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