This is Charlotte.
She is the writing spider that moved in over the doorway of our outdoor living room. She’s been with us for…ohhhh..the last 6-8 weeks and the first time I saw her? I was petrified and wouldn’t go through the mosquito screen doorway because I was SO convinced this monstrosity would drop on my head.
Once I realized she wasn’t paying me a bit of mind, I sat in my chair in our outdoor space and Googled writing spiders in this neck of the woods. I grew a whole new respect for these critters! I came across this article and learned a little bit. Then I found this one, and learned some more. I started to understand these creepy critters that I am SO afraid of.
In some bizarre way, this arachniphobe has become quite fond of our Charlotte. I keep expecting to see, “Some Pig,” woven into her web, even though we don’t have swine. Maybe, “Awesome Dogs” is what I’ve been looking for, but whatever it is, I stop before going into our outdoor space to talk to the old girl, who will most certainly disappear with the first frost.
I know I’ll be sad, then, because just over a week ago, Charlotte was HUGE for days. I suspected she might be getting ready to lay eggs and create an egg sack, much like her counterpart behind the barn. She disappeared a week ago, Friday night, and I was all to pieces, thinking that she’d gone somewhere to create that egg sack. Yet, the next morning she was back. Late the following day, Johnny found the egg sack. It’s between the eves of our outdoor space, so I will probably be scarce in here in the spring when they hatch. Or maybe not.
When Charlotte showed back up, right where she was, her house was a mess. I can relate. Any mom that has just laid a crap-ton of eggs or given birth to a child will get it. We’re tired. We just created life, right?
So, bless her heart, she’s been back, but you can tell that she’s tired. Her webs are half-assed. They are catching stink bugs, but there is still only half a web there. I was fortunate to see her do some kind of spider dance, earlier this evening.
I have really mixed emotions about this spider. While I am fond of her, I’m still not sure that her landing on me, in any way, shape or form wouldn’t be her demise, just because of how I’m wired. On the other side of the coin, though? I feel like I’ve been de-sensitized enough to let her crawl on my hand, if I had a guarantee that she wouldn’t run up my sleeve. (shudder!) Maybe I’ve become more desensitized than I originally thought. Yeah, I know that I’m weird because I dread that first frost that will inevitably kill her. It actually makes me tear up, a little… (Because I am a softie at heart for all living things, when it comes right down to brass tacks.) 😦
All that said? I know she is going to die, but she’s put her eggs in our space, and we will do what we can do to get those little spiderlettes, (they are more likable that way) this spring, out of our space and back out into into nature where they can grow and eat the pests that annoy us during our summer months.
So this blog is for Charlotte, a spider that taught me to love something that scares the hell out of me, and accept her for what she is, and therefore? I won’t be smacking her babies with a swatter, come spring…I can’t even IMAGINE not seeing up to 1,400 of my own babies…Nature can be cruel and beautiful that way…
I know how bizarre that sounds, but it’s the truth. It’s almost as if she knew placing that sack of babies in our space would guarantee their safety! After going out this evening to pick wine grapes and coming in with better than half a dozen mosquito bites on my legs? I will get Charlotte’s babies to safe havens if they need me too. 🙂
Until next time…