We get some pretty impressive arachnids here in Georgia. This beauty to the left is a Black and Yellow Garden Spider. She’s considered a beneficial, and will only bite “if harassed”. Considering her body measures about 1.25″ long, not including those legs of hers, I figure anyone who harasses her gets what they’ve got coming.
According to my five whole minutes of googling, the 2-3′ wide circular web belongs to her. The zipper-looking line in the middle is her mate’s man-cave. Never saw the male, but I really didn’t need to. I did see a previous web without the zipper from her orb-weaving bachelorette days though!
I’m okay with her living on my front porch, as long as she doesn’t try to eat one of the cats or something.
I’m not afraid of spiders. Wary, yes. Wigged out when I walk through a web, certainly. But generally speaking, knowing that this doll is hanging out on my front porch doesn’t really bother me.
Wait, I take that back.
The black widow who lives in the door to my crawlspace ensures that the crawlspace is a space to never be entered. Because. BLACK WIDOW. Uh-uh. Not no way, not no how. This is the poisonous arachnid sort in my crawlspace, not the PVC-clad Scarlet Johannson sort.
Last week, my friend Laura sent me a picture of this ginormous arachnid in her
garden. He’s a “Green Lynx Spider” which is a super cool name. Not to mention he’s hanging out on her pretty flowers instead of ominously lurking in a web.
Her little neighbor is not venomous, either. But honestly with a spider that size, does it really matter?
I’m posting photos of really large spiders because I realize that they appear in books quite often.
Sometimes, they are good (like the orb-weaver cousin of my black and gold, the Barn Spider, who had a starring role in Charlotte’s Web). Sometimes they are just hungry, but somewhat reasonable, like Hagrid’s friend Aragog who lived in the Forbidden Forest beside Hogwarts. Sometimes they were… terrifying. Now I’m thinking of Shelob and the spider from IT.
There’s a legend that JRR Tolkien was bit by a spider in his youth, inspiring Shelob, But I have to wonder how much more archetypal and instinctive the fear and fascination with spiders really is. The concept of a spider large enough to eat a human is petrifying, hell yes. Especially imagining being immobilized by a web!
I’m fascinated by the creatures themselves and what they do in our imaginations.
Free associate with me — what do you think of when I talk about spiders?