Goodbye to the Weavers

Goodbye to the Weavers

The tattered web dripped with raindrops as the old, faded spider held on to it. No longer able to repair her artistry; unable to do anything but await her death.

For seven seasons the golden orb weaver spiders have instructed me on the cycles and rhythms of life. From the first April I moved into the home, the tiny hatchlings began their life full of vigor and determination to educate me on spider life.

Gradually the stronger females created territories and webs that amazed me. They grew in size and their color deepened as they captured insects and feasted around my home. The tiny males stayed out of reach of the females yet reaped the benefits of close proximity to the amazing predators. After mating, the females dined on the males. And this year, I was able to see the wild dance between a male and female as he mated with her and then ran for his life. Two days later, he was gone.

Each year the same process has been carried out. Little cocoons woven with spider silk are attached to the house, shrubs, and trees awaiting the spring. All through the winter they wait….and wait….and wait.

When I put my home for sale this past summer, I fretted over the spiders. Most people don’t share my intense love of critters, especially spiders. I asked the spiders to keep the front steps and porch clear this year, which they did. In years past many visitors to my home were squeamish over the large, colorful gals and their cool webs. I couldn’t bring myself to ‘neaten’ the outside of my home by removing the spider webs….couldn’t do it even if it meant offending potential buyers.

So now that the weather is chilly and the season of cooler weather is upon us, I say goodbye to my spider friends. One-by-one I have said goodbye over the past month as they disappear, their webs falling apart with winds and rains and no spider strong enough to repair them. I feel such sadness when they die but they leave behind hope for their future with bountiful cocoons filled with eggs, ready to devour insects next year.

By observing nature so intimately, I am reminded of the cycles of my own life. There are times of intense productivity, times of waiting, times of going within and times of expressing myself with immense joy. I consider the spiders my friends…Betty, Gertrude, Sally, Trixie and your hundreds of sisters….thank you. Rest in peace sweet ones. I hope the next owners of this home give your babies space to grow and be the amazing insect eaters they are born to be.

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