Tag: spiders

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.



To surrender to the day’s gifts, to be open to the creative impulse that winds through the strands of experience…my only goal this day.

To welcome the surprise that spins in the courtyard flashing wild colors on her belly as raindrops kiss my shoulders…bliss.

My open heart meets nature and together we journey into Oneness.

From a place of no expectation comes amazing gifts that weave into the tapestry of the day…and I am richer for them.

Weavers Unite

Weavers Unite

Since I moved into my home over five years ago, I have given the Golden Silk Orb Weaver spiders free access to the exterior of the house and all shrubs. In fact, I make sure the bushes are trimmed prior to weaving season.

While there have been several who accepted my invitation in years past, this year they have created an amazing wrap of silk around my home. These females are so big and beautiful this year that I’ve started naming them.

For those with spider phobias it’s probably best to postpone your visit until the weather turns cooler here. My front door has two large webs that flex when the screen porch door opens and closes. And just today, I disturbed Maxine’s beautiful web but within moments she was re-weaving it without a complaint.

These colorful spiders are known for their impressive webs. Their genus name, Nephila, is from ancient Greek and means ‘fond of spinning.’ And they are amazing weavers.

When I do yoga on my front porch early in the morning, I watch them rest quietly in the early light of day. They wait for the wasp or fly or moth that wanders into their sticky trap. Today I saw a large, fat red wasp hanging in its death shroud. It was rather comforting to know it won’t be stinging me or my canine pal Buddy.

When they weave, the first spiral woven is non-sticky silk. Then the spider will add two to twenty inner spirals of sticky silk. Scientists think the outer non-sticky edge is so wind-blown leaves won’t get stuck or other spiders will feel it as a boundary. Vibrations along the strands are the dinner bells when an unsuspecting neighbor flies in for a meal….of which they are the star attraction.

The females are up to 10 times larger than the males. Today I caught a male tickling the belly of a female. That boy is one brave spider. I’m not sure if it was a precursor to mating but seeing spider foreplay was a first for me. The mamas will create a silk sac and attach it to bushes or the side of my home and within the sac 300 to 3000 tiny babies develop.

I’m the wild woman who is out photographing spiders with my macro lens…pushing my camera and nose within inches of their beautiful bodies and hairy legs. I refuse to spray around my house because these gals provide the safest insect control available. And besides that, they are endlessly fascinating to watch.

Weavers of the spider world unite! You are welcome to wrap my home in your lovely, golden webs. You protect me and my little family of cats and the wild dog. With no hesitation I claim you as friends.

Additionally, spiders are reminders to weave the life we want and create our lives as a work of art. Message received!