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In Support of Spiders

So often reviled and meeting unpleasant and untimely ends because of our irrational but deep seated fears I present the ….humble spider.

Now image that your arms and legs are attached to bungee lines all pulling in different directions, multiply by 2 and put your-self in a 70 mph wind! You are now ‘bungee spider’ who lives in my wing mirror but decided, for some unknown reason, to venture out whilst I was cruising up the motorway!

I felt very guilty as every time I glanced in my wing mirror (which was every few seconds) I was aware of the high adrenaline arachnid oscillating at unbelievable speed!

Thank goodness that spiders weave their webs with some of the strongest materials otherwise this hapless spider would have been blown away into the relentless traffic. Guilt became overriding but just I was preparing to pull off into the services in order to liberate the little guy he managed to traverse his way back to his hidey hole at the top of the wing mirror where he is still living.

Continuing on the subject of adrenaline sports spiders I am always spellbound by the tiny baby spiders that launch themselves into the great unknown, trailing a thin filament behind them to go wherever the wind takes them. So I will never know how one morning in the summer, when I was rushing for work and dashed into the bathroom to clean my teeth, that my basin was covered in the tiniest baby spiders all draped across on their finest strands of gossamer. What to do?

Many would see them as an irritation and wash them away to oblivion down the plughole or leap to their bathroom spray before wiping them from existence!

Not me. Every life is precious and unless it poses a genuine threat should be treated as the precious gift that it is.

Now I have great and inspirational ideas……but sadly usually after the event! The great after the event idea on this occasion was to use my gaudily coloured feather duster to gently entwine and catch the intrepid arachnid adventurers, in much the same way as candy floss is made, and release them to the wilds of my garden. The reality, without the wonders of predictive hindsight, saw me intricately using tiny pieces of tissue to catch their trailing gossamer bungees and then, just like the game where you fire a ball on a piece of elastic from a cone shaped device and have to catch it, catch them in a modified toilet roll centre!

Of course the baby spiders natural reaction to danger is to…..drop – which they did straight into the sink so there was a hurried application of tissue into the plughole to stop them plummeting to the watery depths of the u-tube!

Any onlooker from outside would have seen me popping bits of tissue out of my bathroom window with a grand finale of the cardboard toilet roll tube emerging like a rocket carrying it’s precious cargo of colonists to safety!

Mission accomplished I could clean my teeth with an equally clean conscience albeit a little late in leaving.

It was a very spidery week for the next morning saw a somewhat large and sadly unattractive spider on my bathroom wall. “Aha”, I thought, I shall use my feather duster. Well it started well…..gentle application of duster to spider, spider climbs on and transfer duster to open window. I then gave it a vigorous, twirly sort of shake at which the hapless spider shot off the duster….back into the bathroom to land with an audible ‘plop’…somewhere! So far I have not found it so I can only assume that I managed to inadvertently and totally un intentionally flick it through the very fabric of time into a parallel universe!

Finally for over a year now a false black widow spider has been living in my kitchen, hidden high up in a corner behind a piece of peeling wallpaper. It only comes out at night to wait menacingly in its web. One day it will have to go but in a strange way I have become quite attached to it. Now the ghostly long legged daddy longlegs (or harvest men) spiders may seem slight but they pack a powerful punch of venom and I have seen one kill a very large house spider in a battle royal on my bedroom ceiling! Usually solitary, hanging in the corners I was amazed one day to see about five of them encircling my eight legged friend in the corner! There was no doubt in my mind that these spiders were working together and had a pincer movement on the cornered arachnid. I felt indignant and defensive of my ‘little friend’ at this over whelming coordinated attack from these eight legged bullies so bristly brush went into action! Quickly they were swept from their front line offensive and evicted outside – except one who fell into the sink. I felt slightly guilty and left the breadboard there so it could climb out! My ‘little friend’ had retreated to it’s hiding place, safe from the skirmish and did not emerge for some two days.

Spiders are not bad, they are excellent at catching flies and mosquitoes and build the most beautiful geometric constructed webs especially designed to catch the early morning dew drops which then sparkle like a million jewels in the early morning Sun.

Steph Diamond 2015

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