A day in the life of Mr. Spiderman

I have a spider that lives in my office window. I call it Mr. Spiderman. Gratefully, Mr. Spiderman is on the outside, because I have never been particularly fond of spiders. It’s not that I don’t like spiders – they just creep me out.

I remember one day when I was living in LA, I was walking on the trails of Calabasas, California. I came across a real live Tarantula on the trail and I ran all the way back to my car. I know, I know ~ how silly is that? But I tell you this to frame exactly how afraid of spiders I’ve been. It didn’t help that there were black widows around my house in LA, as well as this other kind of spider that liked to come through the french garden doors in my bedroom and find their way into my bed. I kid you not!! And then there were the jumping spiders in the Bahamas – a place I retreated to for a month long writing break in the 90s. I slept completely covered with one eye open for the entire month – despite my native Bohemian neighbor trying to endear me to these creatures by showing me close up pictures of their little faces.

Mr. Spiderman survived the recent micro burst that devastated a few trees on my lot and has since become a very successful spider this summer. It eats on average about 6 flies a day, and sometimes it even has a late evening snack of a moth.

What I’m most impressed about Mr. Spiderman is the daily routine. Everyday it sits in its corner all day waiting for its meals to be delivered to the web. Once something gets caught in the web it’s a done deal. Very few creatures get themselves free before Mr. Spiderman is able to get to it, kill it with a venomous stab, wrap it up in silk and carry it back to its corner, sometimes still wiggling away in its new tightly wrapped grave.

The web itself is a work of art, specialized for its geographical placement and the locally present insects. These webs are thought to produce patterns that resemble patterns reflected by many flowers in UV light. Thus insects that are searching for their favourite type of flower see the decorated web in the UV light and fly into the trap.

My favourite part of Mr. Spiderman’s day is in the evening once the sun sets, when finally, after a hard day’s work, it gets to spread itself out perfectly in the centre of its web, no longer afraid of being detected by birds or other spider eating predators in the area, it gets to hang there in all its glory for the night.

Each morning when I awake and make my way to my desk, I’m greeted by a perfect web, repaired overnight – and Mr. Spiderman back in its corner waiting for the next meal of the day.

As you make your way around this wonderful planet of ours, have respect for the lives of the smallest of creatures too. They all have parents that cared for them until such a time they were able to fend for themselves. They all have ‘a life’ and have all worked hard to sustain it. <~~~ Exactly like we human beings do, day in and day out – we’re all on a mission to survive, and everything has its place on this planet.

I’ve never been able to get a full out picture of Mr. Spiderman stretched out on its web because that would mean I’d have to actually open the window to take the picture – now you may think I don’t want to do that because I’m scared, it’s partially that, but I’d also hate for my need to take a picture to put Mr. Spiderman in harm’s way – after all, it’s been a pretty successful summer so far.

Here is Mr. Spiderman eating one of many meals this summer in my office window.

I wish you a pleasant week, creepy crawlers and all.

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