Monday, September 1, 2008

Charlotte's Web

This baby has set up camp directly outside my writing area. I have named her Charlotte. She is a girl, yes, and huge, just sickeningly, revoltingly, Harry Potterishly huge. Huge enough to yesterday capture an entire gleaming dragonfly, pin it to her web with those long sticky legs, and suck it completely lifeless by today.

She is poisonous but not dangerously so. She eats her web every night and spins a new one every morning, a process that as a writer, I can certainly relate to.

She lives a year, lays an enormous egg sac and immediately dies. The boys of her kind are much smaller and less beautifully colored. We have another female of her kind in our front yard, on the bushes, but she is the star, the one my children come to look at twice a day, the one who attracts crowds.

I write inside a sunroom, attached to our living room. It is a true sunroom, with windows all around. My writing desk is up against the windows to the right of the room, a computer on a small brown desk with a bookshelf to the right and the printer on a small white end table to the left. She is directly outside the window above this small white table, amidst flowers and roses, hanging so close to the window she occasionaly bumps it when she scurries down to catch whatever has been caught in her web. It is amazing how quickly she moves, and how much she eats. I don't have to wait long to watch her catch something, it seems every time I look up at her she's got a fly, wasp or some such caught in her legs. I have watched her three times catch something, pull it quickly to the middle of her web, latch it between her front legs as she steadies her rear legs, and neatly and quickly begin to spin it in a circle until the little wings of the beast are wrapped hard to it's body in a silvery cacoon. My stomach begins to turn at this point and I rarely watch further.

Her actual body is the size of a large walnut, and this gives me weak knees. I am looking at her right now and I feel a primal fear, as if she might latch on to my face and dig her points into my skin and stun me, working that heavy swinging body over me, wrapping me in silence and white thread. YECH.

I hope no bird eats her. This is awesome.

Montgomery Maxton said...

she is gorgeous

Shannon said...

OMG. I would love to have her near my writing room. fascinating.

maggie may- i need your address.

Valerie Loveland said...

Wow, cool! I am not used to seeing spiders that huge.

michellewoo said...

Your writing space sounds divine. The space is so important.

Missy said...

"She eats her web every night and spins a new one every morning, a process that as a writer, I can certainly relate to."


I really love this whole post. What a great reflection.

Anonymous said...

Oh,that is horrible. I would just move. Not a spider fan, but I do love Charlotte's web!! You took a very good photo.

Jennifer Ren said...

I'm horrified even from 6 states to the right. It is a mystery as to why spiders make my skin crawl. A walnut, you say? She would be safe at my house; however she would have that entire end of the house all to herself.

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