Thursday, 27 September 2012

Spider Season

You may have noticed a lot more spiders in your house lately. Mostly the big, long legged furry brown type - probably the most feared spider in England: The ordinary House Spider or as the South African's call them, rain spiders. They tend to come inside at this time of year to escape the cold, rain and also to find a mate. Unfortunately I have yet to photograph one as I have been too busy throwing them out of my room and into the forest next to my house - I don't particularly want to run a spider brothel at the moment, thank you very much!

But due, I think, to the close proximity of my house to a forest, I tend to see a lot more spiders outside on the verandah/balcony or whatever else you want to call it, especially the common garden spider with their huge webs that are impossible to miss - although their support strands regularly get broken when I don't see them!

Yesterday I had the privilege of watching a large female finishing off her web. The sun was just peaking through the thick rain clouds overhead and the cold ground froze my bare feet but I stood, watching, marveling at her patience as she went around and around connecting horizontal strands to those stretching out from the centre. Only then did I run downstairs and find my camera. Sadly by the time I did get back to the web she was just finishing off a few problems with the centre before climbing into her hiding place at the top of the web.

Here are a few photos anyway. When you look closely at the garden spider they are more beautiful than you would think. Now I don't particularly like spiders, especially when I find them in my bed, or walk into their webs but they have a certain pull for me. They're fascinating. The many patterns on their legs and bodies, the way they work all night on something that's most probably going to be destroyed in the morning and then doing it all over again every night of their lives, the way they sit waiting for that juicy fly to land on the web. Such patience.

I have named this spider Emily, after the main character in Dick King Smith's Emily's Legs. It popped into my head before Charlotte from Charlotte's Web!

About an hour after writing this blog I watched the other spiders around the balcony as they enjoyed lunch. Emily had already cocooned her lunch for later - it looked like a small fly but the other spiders were pretty eager for their lunch.

This spider definitely won't finish this in one sitting!

I think this spider was sulking because his/her web hadn't caught anything for lunch and his/her neighbour was not sharing that huge bee!

This spider obviously had brunch - it was fixing the web.

It's time like these that I really wish I had a macro lens or a video camera that could capture all that I wanted to film today! I really wanted to get in close - I promise I'm not crazy. In fact I was procrastinating from film editing :D

1 comment:

  1. Nice! A comment a surgeon made on a medical TV 'soap' this week said something like this, 'We cover everything except the bit we're working on so we don't get 'attached' or emotional when operating on patients.'! If we concentrate on the markings, the anatomy, the colours etc of the spider, it might help forget how little we like them!! But they are incredibly designed and beautiful!