Friday, August 25, 2006
Freds in webs
This morning I opened the door to leave for work and found the way blocked by an intricate spider web stretching across the entire opening--and sitting in the middle was the web's maker, Fred.
I doubt that Fred is his actual name--or hers, as the case may be. Its Latin name is Argiope Aurantia, aka Yellow Garden Spider, but our family calls all spiders of this species Fred in memory of a spider we once kept as a pet. Well, "kept" is perhaps not the right word; Fred had made a lovely web along the path beside the house, and we were all in the habit of visiting daily and dropping interesting things into his web. Or hers.
Sometimes we dropped live insects and sometimes we dropped bits of leaf just to see Fred scurry across the web in hot pursuit of a juicy treat. Fred hung around for a while but then disappeared, but not before he (or she!) became a beloved member of the family.
Now we live in a place where Freds abound. The photo was taken in our upper meadow, which is crawling with Freds this time of year. We still enjoy seeing them, but as much fun as it might be to drop small wiggly things into the webs and watch the Freds scurry, I'm not volunteering to walk into the web myself. Which is why I shut the door and called for the resident web-destroyer. Freds outside are fine and dandy, but when they invade my space, it's time to render Fred homeless.