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Spinning a little bedtime spider story

October 9, 2015


Thursday night (September 8) my “roommate” and I were — both in our way — busy working on the web.

While I sat on my butt, using my laptop to research stuff on the Internet, one of the big European garden spiders that I share my parkade with — the one that lives under the southwest halogen light fixture — was busy redesigning its home-based business website.

A true webmaster at work


The spider has to pull the quick-drying silk strands out of its, ah, spinneret.

It is said of some varieties of European garden spiders that they habitually consume their webs at the end of each day and recreate them anew every morning.

However, I have only ever witnessed the Vancouver branch of this worldwide species putting up webs and maintaining them — never entirely taking them down.

When I arrived at my parkade at about 10:30 p.m., for example, my spider was deeply engaged in web work but I can’t say that it was creating a whole new one from scratch.

And it certainly wasn’t morning by my clock but who knows what time zone the spider nation lives in — I doubt that they’re quite “evolved” enough to observe daylight saving time.


What I watched the nimble arachnid do for well over an hour was scramble over every centimetre of its web; doing a little something here and there — perhaps testing for dead links? And adding whole new sections in certain places.

It was interesting to see the spider adding new sticky orbital strands. It drew the silk out of it’s spinneret and fixed it in place with a blur of legs and precise, non-stop movement. I’m sure that efficiency experts would be stumped to improve on the spider’s construction methods.

It looked like hard, exacting work and it made me sleepy just watching.

Fortunately, before midnight both the spider and I had done what we wanted to do and we could retire for the night — I to the coziness of my sleeping bag and the spider to the centre of its refurbished web, to sit and perhaps dream of…what? Click the top two images to enlarge them.

From → Fairview, Insects

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