Saturday, August 17, 2013

Close Encounters of a Bad Kind

All my two-legged friends have returned to their own homes, and now this week I find myself inundated with a group of ladies I am not particularly fond of. They are all widowed and have taken up residence in the crawl space beneath The Crooked Little House. You guessed it - Black Widow Spiders - lots of them. Perhaps it's a convention or just daughters returning home to live with mom, but in any case, they've gotta go and soon.

Something had been chewing on my old cable wires underneath the house and that's how I learned about my unwanted guests. After emerging from the tight quarters, (we don't have basements here), the cable guy said he ran new lines and all looked well except for the enormous gathering of spiders along the west wall near the outside vent.

Black Widows are common here like Cottonmouth snakes so you just learn to be careful when reaching into and under things. I'm sure the spiders are also lurking behind all the cartons of crap belonging to my kids; stuff they don't want me to throw away yet they never manage to take home with them. Luckily I have a brave knight who is going to come send the ladies to spider heaven this coming week.

I've been seeing all kind of spiders lately: wolf spiders scampering along the flower beds, jumping spiders under the pergola and occasionally, teeny, weenie ones in the studio. And I love the big beauties that spin beautiful orb webs each evening. It is said that seeing spiders signifies creativity and weaving of fate, a symbol of creative powers. Sources say that if spiders come into your life you need to ask yourself if you are weaving your dreams into reality. I find this interesting since I've recently been exploring new areas with my work.

I've been working on a beastiary, highlighting the animals that visit TCLH. Beastiaries were popular a long time ago and were written to encourage people to live a proper life, each entry adding a moral at the end of the story. My tales are a bit different. I'll share one with you today. From TCLH Beastiary:

The Late for Dinner Spider

As dusk descends, orb weaver spiders begin anchoring their webs. One runs her silk from the ligustrum near the front door to the rosemary bush, and the other starts at the wild cherry tree and ties off at the trumpet vines on the pergola. The space near the blue chair where the third spider usually sets up remains vacant.
Sixteen legs work hastily, pulling silk this way and that. Darkness now cloaks the yard and the spiders are at their ready, waiting for the appetizers to appear.
After a quick wrap, the second course flutters into the webs, and if spiders had lips, these two would be smacking them. The third course brings two bulbous, green-winged beetles. Yet the tardy spider is still nowhere to be seen.
The fourth course floats in, a palate cleansing in the form of two lacewings, along with the arrival of the third spider. She yawns and stretches all eight before beginning her web. The fifth course snags itself in the others' webs while the sleepy spider checks the tension in her lines.The sixth course appears to the first two spiders as fat, juicy moths, while the last arachnid completes her web.
Time now for the seventh course, dessert, eagerly anticipated by all. But only one serving blunders by, and it flies right into the Late for Dinner Spider's web.

Lesson Learned: Sometimes, dessert is all you need.


  1. i will feel much better when the spiders are in spider heaven. :)

    1. Me too. Thank goodness for the cable guy spotting them!

  2. one day,long ago, I was reading my new "vogue" issue,turned the page and was met with a 2 page closeup,in full living color of a tarantula.

    I screamed,cried,got pissed off,threw the mag across the room and cancelled my subscription!
    it took 20 years to read vogue again.
    I don't like spiders.

  3. I am not a spider lover but I love the way they are put together. I like them in their own space, not mine. Not sure who owns the crawl space!