Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Call Her Charlotte

Tucked in the middle of our garden is the most beautiful spider. She’s a big one, too. Now, I realize not everyone finds beauty in spiders. Many folks are downright scared of them, and I understand critter fears. You’re talkin’ to the girl who can run a sub 5 minute mile when a snake is around. While I am terrified of snakes, I have never been bothered by spiders, bugs or mice. In fact, I find spiders quite intriguing. And I knew when Teen Angel casually mentioned that by the way there’s a spider in the garden and you’re probably gonna want to get your camera out, that this one was probably special.

Warning: I'm getting ready to post several spidey pics. At this point, those of you who are creeped out by spider pictures should click over to something like The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for prune cake (although personally, I find prunes a little scary). The rest of you, follow me.

I call her Charlotte. Ever since I read Charlotte’s Web, I’ve had the habit of assuming all spiders are female, are named Charlotte and lay eggs and die, leaving their offspring to be raised by geese and a humble pig. I may be wrong, but there are some romantic childhood notions I like to hang onto, so Charlotte she is. Her large web stretches between the cucumbers and the back row of tomato plants. She sits right in the middle of the web, sunning her yellow backside and waiting for prey.

Notice how she reinforced her web. The neighbor boy who loves critters, believes she’s a common garden spider. Whatever she is, I find her to be quite elegant. I especially like the way she balances on her web, ever so gently, with the precision of an acrobat.

It’s amazing how precise her web is, a job that would require several tools for a human. She has the patience of Job, seemingly staying in one place for hours. I check on her often and usually find her wrapping something suitable for dinner.

This particular meal was a big honey bee. I’ve also found her wrapping moths. The macro lens allows me to watch her at microscopic level without disturbing her, and I find her body to be fascinating. I love the tiny little hairs on her legs, and just look at that belly.

Would she be amused to know how much she’s been photographed, I wonder? I figure Miss Charlotte will move on one of these days, but until then I’ll continue to enjoy her display of God’s handiwork. I just think she’s terrific. And radiant. And humble.


Trailboss said...

Spiders have never bothered me but mice and snakes (I was bitten by a Copperhead when I was 5 at Ky lake) can and will send me into a frenzy fit that noone wants to get in my way. At work last year a mouse actually ran across my keyboard while I was sitting there!!!!! I saw something out of the corner of my eye. My co-worker was standing in front of my desk and saw it. Thank goodness the 2 guys I work with got the mouse (which ran into my printer/copier) and got rid of it. A while later I heard a noise in the trash can at the other desk in my office (not mine thank goodness) and when I went to see what it was there was yet another mouse peering up at me with those beady eyes. I walked to my office door, opened it and hollered "HELP!!!!!!" The guys came laughing all the way and took care of it too. Oh how I dread the winter time and the mice that find refuge in my office. Grrrrrrrr

Bro. Dave said...

Beautiful spider... great pics!

janis said...

Great shots...she is a beauty.

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Jason, as himself said...

That is seriously a beautiful spider. Do you have any beautiful pictures of chiggers for me to see?