I used to be afraid of spiders, but now, living in the country, I look at them as friends. Well, mostly. I certainly wouldn’t want to meet the wrong spider at an inopportune moment, and some relationships work best with a little distance. But I find the ones that set up shop around our property to be largely unintrusive, and interesting, and honestly, sort of beautiful. And it helps that their webs keep the other bugs and pests away.
Now that we’re coming into fall, I’ve seen several.
Mostly writing spiders, which as a writer myself, I can’t help but feel a certain kinship with.
That’s strange, isn’t it? But we women have stories in us, and deep down, I think we’re all weavers and makers.
And I figure, outside in the fields and trees and such, I’m really in their territory, not the other way around. So, as long as they keep to themselves, I’ll do the same.
Well, I suppose I spoke too soon about checking in on her, because my new writing spider buddy has already moved on. I read that they tend to stick close to the same area throughout their lifetimes, so I hope she’s somewhere nearby, safe and sound and spinning a beautiful web.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not particularly squeamish about bugs and other creepy crawlies. (Except snakes.) I find them pretty fascinating, actually. (Except snakes.) So when Graham snapped a shot of this colorful lady while he was out doing some work on the house yesterday, my first thought was, “What a pretty spider!”
And she is, isn’t she?
I did some research today, and it turns out, this giantess is an Argiope aurantia, sometimes called the writing spider. They’re known for the patterns they weave into their webs, which often look like X’s and Z’s. They’re not aggressive, but they will bite if provoked, and they tend to stay in one place throughout their lifetimes. And an interesting bit of folklore: It’s been said that if you tear down a writing spider’s web or try to harm it, the spider will build a new web the next day with your name written in silk, thereby cursing you with bad luck.
So, I’ll leave her alone, then. Which is my general rule of thumb anyway, when it comes to spiders.
But it does feel sort of appropriate to have a writing spider close by. I certainly don’t plan to bother her, but I think it’s pretty likely that I’ll check on her every now and again, if only to see what new patterns she’s created.