Thursday, August 14, 2008

Spider meal

A spider is eating a bug outside the kitchen window.  I have been watching it all morning, in between other chores.  Some kind of beetle creature has gotten caught in the web in the upper corner of the lower pane.  It is wrapped up in the gentle, steel silk, immobile.  Each time I go to the sink and look out toward the back yard, I observe that the spider is in a different place, attending to its catch.  

The spider's legs are translucent, each joint slightly enlarged, knobby.  It has a plump, taut, round body.  I wonder if it is a female, ready to lay some eggs to ensure its progeny enter next spring.  Could it be that it has gotten fatter throughout the day, or is it just my imagination?

I didn't even notice its web at first.  I thought there wasn't much of one, or that it had been torn up.  But as the light changed throughout the day, I saw that there is actually a complex creation guarding the window.  No simple Halloween-spider web, this is three-dimensional, made from the thinnest strands.  It is practically invisible.  The strings form lopsided pyramids in every direction, and other geometric shapes I cannot name.  Multiple supports stick to the window frame, providing a strategic framework for horizontal and diagonal secondary scaffolding.  Larger black flies barge right through; how this huge bug got itself caught, I wish I knew.

The window is dirty on the outside and the inside.  It has various marks on the outside - mostly spider poop, I think, and other insect leavings.  On the inside it is mostly food and water splashes that have dried on the pane.  I need to wash my windows, but I think I will leave the outside alone for a time, to give the spider its space and to continue to watch this interesting little creature. 

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