Season of mists and – spiders

It is now most definitely that time of year again.  There’s a nip in the air and a crumble in the oven.  And as the draft in the kitchen gets ever chillier, I’m kicking myself yet again for not having to managed to train the cats to use the cat flap in the summer months. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness indeed (and thanks to the film adaptation of Bridget Jones’s Diary, I’ll never be able to hear those lines without the mental addition of “I f***ing love Keats!”); but also, it must be said, season of spiders.

So far, they’ve kept outside, and for that I’m grateful… but the change in the weather has clearly sent a clarion call to spiderkind to get their larders stocked up for the winter months.  The result? Cobwebs. Everywhere. spider in web

The first almost caught me out. Arriving home one afternoon, I tripped gaily up the steps to our front door and – froze.  Stretched out between the wooden rails of the porch was a beautifully constructed web, a perfect octagon, all silver and shimmering.  And there, bold as brass, was the master craftsman himself, stretched out slap bang in the middle of his handiwork and just daring me to break it.

I couldn’t do it, of course. All that endeavour! All that hopefulness! Just for someone bigger to come along and rip it to smithereens? To the unpublished author, the metaphor was just too stark to ignore.  (Okay, I might be feeling a little raw right now…) I ducked underneath and left it intact.  My husband, bless his heart, did the same thing. Three days later and it’s still there, if not quite as pristine. An unworthy part of me is hoping that the postman will do our dirty work for us before the week is out.

But that’s not the only web. Oh no. There’s another in front of the window of our second bedroom.  And another outside the living room window.  I’m starting to worry that they’re working together. Maybe we’ll wake up one morning and the whole house will be enveloped in sticky gossamer.  Maybe we’ll find ourselves enmeshed by default!

I’m keeping count. When we reach double figures, I’m going out there with the feather duster.

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126 thoughts on “Season of mists and – spiders

  1. hrt123

    Spiders are odd. They freak me out but, I don’t hate them. So far I haven’t seen any, I’m keeping my fingers crossed!! Great post!
    Hannah

    Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      In my book, eight legs are at least four more than any creature can possibly need if it’s not up to no good. Will keep my fingers crossed for a spider-free season for you!

      Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      Loved your post! I hadn’t taken the false widow threat seriously, just because – well, surely they wouldn’t make it to our house? Hmm. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure that logic really stands up to scrutiny…

      Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      Thank you! And loved your post on pageant queens. Reminded me of that great line from Miss Congeniality:

      Pageant host: “Tell me about your ideal date.”
      Miss Rhode Island: “I think it would have to be April 4th, because it’s not too hot and not too cold.”

      Comedy gold.

      Reply
      1. Amy Rafferty Slagle

        Yes! Thank you for following as well. I am desperately seeking advice on how to get more traffic. I started my blog in August and the traffic is slow. How did you happen upon my blog? Please share the secret Freshly Pressed friend…so jealous. 🙂

      2. yakinamac Post author

        Honestly, if I knew the secret I’d have managed it myself a long time ago! I started back in July, and my top number of views for a single day was 33 until I got that magic email earlier this week to say a post had been selected for “Freshly Pressed”. I’m really, really hoping that at least some of the people who’ve found their way here thanks to that stick around in the weeks and months to come (and I’ve found lots of great new blogs, like yours, that I’ll be coming back to as a result, so whatever happens, I’m grateful for that.)

        But while I don’t have any advice, I know a man who does… Have you come across Opinionated Man? His blog is wildly successful, and he did a post recently on his experience: http://aopinionatedman.com/2013/10/26/the-harsh-reality-model-why-my-site-is-different/. I believe he also has an e-book on his model for blogging success – might be worth a look.

        Anyway, best of luck with building your audience. For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t get too hung up on your numbers – I’ve come across some brilliant blogs that, for whatever reason, don’t seem to have been discovered by the masses of people their talent deserves. The main thing, I think, is to enjoy your writing and the interaction with whoever out there enjoys it as well – whether their numbers can be counted in the hundreds, the thousands, or just on your fingers and toes. 🙂

    1. yakinamac Post author

      And take my word for it – it’s even worse if you have long hair. Though I imagine the jumping around and manic swatting actions might be quite entertaining for anyone watching.

      Reply
      1. nodds94

        Oh I can imagine! Getting it out of my short hair is enough! 😮 Just the other day I was toweldrying my hair so I placed the towel down only to find a spider sat in it!! Needless to say I had a heart attack!

      2. yakinamac Post author

        Little blighters seem to have a thing about towels etc – I’m always finding them in my laundry basket. That reminds me to do the arm’s-length-shake of my towel before using it at this time of year!

      3. nodds94

        I know they are really persistent!! Well I think I’ve learned the hard to thoroughly examine my towels from now on 😉

  2. allthoughtswork

    Spidies! The state bird of Oregon. We have hundreds per square yard, I swear. I love ’em. Employees of the highest work ethic, they keep my car, my house, and my backyard mosquito-and-other-obnoxious-pests-free.

    I pet spiders. And bees. So soft.

    FYI, the artist on your front porch wasn’t a craftsman, but a craftswoman. The females get the biggest and spin the most elaborate webs. All the better to develop that egg sac, my dear.

    Reread Charlotte’s Web and get back to me.

    Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      Hmm – not sure about the petting business. Think I’ll take your word for their tactile qualities!

      I’m sure my spider was a bloke – I saw him chatting to one of his mates later that day, bragging about how big his web was.

      Reply
      1. allthoughtswork

        It’s the bees that are soft. The spiders will actually reach out a leg slowly and gently and give a tentative little hand shake with you, tasting you. So sweet.

        Not sure how your bloke’s mates will react when they lay eyes on his egg sac in the next couple weeks. One of them is sure to be the father.

        It’s like arachnid Melrose Place on your porch.

      2. yakinamac Post author

        There’ll probably need to be a DNA test. Just hope they don’t have a screaming row and wake up all the neighbours. The cats are on standby to break things up if necessary.

    1. yakinamac Post author

      Think it was just a garden spider. Hoping so anyway… The photo was sadly not my handiwork, so I can’t promise it was the actual spider involved; but sure it was a near relation.

      Reply
  3. alienredqueen

    Yeah…we have different types of spiders all the time…a lot of brown recluse here, actually. But since “Fall”, I’ve seen quite a few of those giant orb weavers, leaving their booby traps from tree to ground!

    Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      Those sound like some serious spiders…

      I spent a few months in Nepal a number of years ago. Now there’s a country with macho spiders: some of them weave webs in which they catch – wait for it – birds. Thankfully I never saw any of the critters themselves, but I did see their handiwork. Both awe-inspiring and thoroughly nasty.

      Reply
      1. alienredqueen

        I don’t mind spiders…as long as they aren’t venomous, and they don’t invade my space. Until we had the brown recluse infestation, I was a catch and release kind of girl.

    1. yakinamac Post author

      Oh dear – hope it wasn’t too traumatic! I’m borderline myself, but it’s the daddy long legs that really creep me out: just like spiders – except that they fly! Horrid.

      Reply
      1. dallen4122

        Yea… They are like….. Ew. I’m thinking about writing one on spiders and other fears. I’ll let you know when I write it?

  4. Birgit Nazarian

    We have a spider or spiders that wove a web every single day right across the top left corner of our back porch door. All summer we ducked under the web too! It catches the nasty mosquitoes and bugs trying to get into our house but it’s also kind of well…yuck to have the web there and sometimes get some stuck in your hair. Still we mostly left it alone.

    Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      Agree – it has to be the right thing to do. But when they’re a few days old and start looking a bit bedraggled, plus have all those decaying bits of insects stuck all over them – well, they’re not quite as attractive as they once were!

      Reply
      1. Birgit Nazarian

        My guess is that if they are bedraggled the spider has moved on? Built a new net? Don’t they – pardon the gruesomeness – suck out the juices of their prey? Anyway…worst thing I saw recently in the spider world was a spider wasp – it was dragging a huge paralyzed spider. Did not know before that – and thanks to Google – that there were insects out there that preyed on spiders.

  5. w6bky

    Spiders are good, especially in the garden where they keep the other bugs in check. We (wife and I) use no chemical bug killers at all, and we find that we don’t need them because we let the spiders run free to do their thing.

    One of our favorite spiders lives in a decorative trellis beside a fence – you can see her in one of my blog posts: http://w6bky.me/2012/09/07/jumpy/

    Spiders have so much bad press that they need all the friends they can get!

    Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      That’s a fantastic photo on your blog post. And you’re quite right, of course, about the bugs – I just wish spiders would eat snails too…

      Reply
  6. Dr. Debra Marks

    They are coming thru the drain of our soaker tub. Hard to luxuriate when one knows they are somewhere beneath.

    Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      That’s a great name for a park, though sadly a little far away for me to visit. I’ve been wondering what happens to US public sector workers when they’re furloughed – how do they manage to pay the bills? Can people get income insurance against a shutdown? If you know the answer, please enlighten me!

      Reply
      1. usgovtshutdown

        Good questions. Furloughed federal workers who have difficulties paying bills could send creditors a note from the government. Banks were offering case by case assistance. Two relief options banks offered during the government shutdown were interest free paycheck loans and loans in the amount of the workers next paycheck to be paid back when the shutdown resolves. If you know about income insurance please let me know.

        Read more government shutdown posts on http://usgsdgear.wordpress.com/ , and your invited to post your comments and questions there

  7. bellalolabrigida

    nothing like running into them because you didn’t bother to look! yuck! as far as a duster take a big broom as it sounds like you’ll need it! I do also admire their creative webs! thanks.

    Reply
  8. Nerija S.

    This is going to be a very cliche statement, but I can’t think of any other right now: You really have a way with words. I love your description of the web, for instance:

    a beautifully constructed web, a perfect octagon, all silver and shimmering. And there, bold as brass, was the master craftsman himself, stretched out slap bang in the middle of his handiwork and just daring me to break it.

    And this:

    I’m starting to worry that they’re working together. Maybe we’ll wake up one morning and the whole house will be enveloped in sticky gossamer. Maybe we’ll find ourselves enmeshed by default!

    It reads like it could be part of a longer story, maybe about a woman who’s recently moved into the area and is experiencing her first autumn there, or maybe she’s lived there for years and the spider situation is new.

    Also, how appropriate that said spider situation is happening near Halloween! 😉 Mwahaha!

    Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      Thank you so much – it’s really great to get that kind of feedback.

      I’d never seen the short story possibilities here, but you’re absolutely right – something to tell around the fireside on All Hallows Eve, perhaps!

      Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      I almost didn’t approve this comment, but then thought the sheer cheek deserved to be rewarded. This is a one time only deal!

      Reply
  9. Pingback: Freshly Riffed 54: Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, If I’m Schizophrenic, Then I Am Too | A VERY STRANGE PLACE

    1. yakinamac Post author

      I feel honoured to have you take the – ahem – mick out of my post. And you’ve hit the nail on the head with the summary!

      Reply
      1. yakinamac Post author

        Ah – there’s no squishing here, just a delicate procedure involving a drinking glass and cardboard. Not one that I carry out, I hasten to add!

  10. jharker40J

    My sister has an extreme spider phobia. She once wanted to burn her entire wardrobe after seeing a spider on the sleeve of a blouse. Her husband and I talked her off that ledge. As for me, well, I’m a gardener so spiders are welcome to put down roots wherever they want as long as they pay their way by catching bugs. Excellent post!

    Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      I have a sister with an extreme spider phobia too! Until recently she lived alone, and a couple of years ago she rang my dad and asked him to drive the 50 or so miles to her home to remove a spider at two in the morning. The really crazy thing was, he did it! Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Chris

    An orb weaver built a large web on our back porch. Unfortunately part of it was connected to our recycling bin. I tried to avoid damaging the web. I lifted the lid as little as possible, so I could dump stuff in the bin. Pick up day came and I had to wheel the bin away. It stormed last night so I haven’t seen if there is a new web.

    Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      Ah well, you did your best – I think the spider has to be at fault there for poor site selection. By the way – I love your blog! My sister-in-law apparently looked like Yoda when she was born, and it’s a family joke that just keeps on giving. I spy potential here!

      Reply
  12. seph's salon

    I headed out last fall for a early morning stroll and was stunned to find an entire pine tree decorated with spiderwebs sparkling and shimmering in the frosty morning light. It was so pretty. . .until I realized how many critters were living in that tree. It’s a good thing they are small and we are not.

    Reply
  13. andyo1976

    Like having spiders about, might not say that if they were the deadly variety! I managed to get a pic of a spider building it’s web the other day, great builders. It’s a shame when the webs get destroyed, all that hard work gone then….

    Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      Yes, it’s sad isn’t it. But what can you do when the little critters keep weaving them across pathways, doors etc? I half wonder whether they do it just to see someone perform an impromptu breakdance when they get a face-full of web. Bet they weave a great big trap, then get their mates over to have a laugh at our expense. Honestly, I wouldn’t put it past them.

      Reply
  14. beefyisfeebz

    Reminds me of my favourite book as a child “Charlotte’s web” by E. B white 😉 beautiful picture

    Reply
  15. Pingback: Spiders in our world. | Midwest Musings

    1. yakinamac Post author

      Thanks so much for the link from your post – I loved your article, especially the part about how, in S Korea, spiders’ webs are symbolic of the links between people. Such a beautiful thought.

      Reply
  16. vermissa

    Love the co-existence! When something like this happens all I think is that it is spiders are labelled as creepy ones in spite of their amazing architecture. It is that we are making ourselves free from insects than free from fear of insects. I see how many millions of ants are crushed near my place. Pathetic.. It is their place too.

    Reply
    1. yakinamac Post author

      So true. Co-existence isn’t always easy though – as long as the spiders (and ants) stay outside, they’re okay with me. 🙂

      Reply
  17. Niranjana

    This is an amazing post! Although I’m pretty scared of spiders themselves, their cobwebs don’t bother me as much. In fact, I think they look so very beautiful and pristine in the right light! The photographs were brilliant too – admittedly the spider gave me the creepy-crawlies… 😀

    Reply
  18. bigolgtrain

    I love the fact that you did not break the spider web. I have always respected spiders, and hate when people kill them just because they don’t like them. They are not going to hurt you, just avoid them if you are outside and see one. don’t go out of your way to kill it. I have never purposely killed a spider. but i have moved some out of the house.

    Reply

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