I love to linger in the hazy light or walk the dog in the brisk morning breeze. It seems I share my fondness for this season with another creature, one for which I have great admiration but don’t want to come anywhere near.
Exhibiting marvelous feats of engineering—bridge lines that span twelve-foot gaps, invisible orbs strong enough to trap large insects (to say nothing of triggering a frantic frenzy when you walk full-face into them), spiders, large, small, furry, striped, and spotted are everywhere.
I'm not sure whether they are mating, moving, or out on holiday, but they've got their anchor lines and hammocks slung and strung between every upright blade of grass and porch post on my half-acre.
Now, I'm not an arachnophobe, but let’s admit it, unless you are of that rare breed, like my friend Matt, who thinks his fist-size tarantula is a real beauty, it’s downright difficult to warm up to a spider.
One article claims that “arachnophobia is the UK's second most common phobia (after public speaking).”
Imagine—public speaking and spiders neck and neck on the phobia chart! Which makes me wonder how I would rate my phobias. Free-falling in a elevator and driving off a cliff are biggies. Having a spider walk around my head or face rates pretty high too. (Care to share yours?)
I'm not sure why spiders trigger such violent reactions, (although I suspect it has something to do with having eight legs and a head full of eyes) because for the most part they are quite amazing. For me, learning about them helps me to spare the population. (And they do eat a terrific amount of insects.)
For example the harmless, yet fearsome writing spider who took up housekeeping on my porch was spared because I learned she is harmless, spins a story web, which she takes down every night and puts up again the next day. See my previous post, The writing spider spins a psalm.
And I was humored by the messy spider strung out on the fence line next to a tidy one. Lessons from a filament-flinging spider.
And I delighted in seeing and learning about ballooning spiders, What response do ballooning spiders and Women of Faith elicit?
But I have to admit, clever as she was to drop a fishing line in the pool skimmer, the black widow with her belly full of progeny crossed my tolerance line. Bob admired her ingenuity so much he was reluctant to get rid of her, but I would have none of it. She was a goner.
Yes, education can certainly help gain a healthy respect for these creeping creatures, but for the true arachnophobe for whom even the spoken word, spider, elicits a scream, there ‘s help of a different sort.
How about this virtual reality program that has spiders crawl all over your desk:
And if that’s not your forte, well, I hope you still can delight in these balmy September days; may they not be spider filled, but full of marvel!