A Spider Homage

An Irregular Ode to a Spider

With black and yellow hazard signs you stretch en pointe to reach the next rung on a self-spun ladder and hold firm as each string vibrates upon my passing.

 A woven zipper brings the four corners under your command, drawing the unwilling to struggle along tightropes suspended unseen upon my passing.

 Dusted tangerine and black stockings expand to secure your body like a broach displayed on a wool coat in need of embellishment admired upon my passing.

 A shudder from my closing door becomes a rhythmic disturbance, threatening your secluded corner off the back entry undefended upon my passing.

 Morsels with silk wrappers appear along your avenues, reserved for satisfying a midday or midnight appetite remorseless upon my passing.

 Peering outside to fathom the atmosphere, the tendrils of your web are softly lilting up and down as my sadness wells upon your passing.

 I suspect the postman of your demise.

A fascinating black and yellow garden spider took up residence overnight at my back door. My husband and I admired her progress for two weeks until one morning she vanished with a few remnants of her web left behind.  Here are a two portraits of her and her zippered web. I refer to the spider as a she since females are larger than the males, and her body measured over 1.5 inches long. It was difficult to photograph her web, which was unfortunate because it had beautiful symmetry and strength for such glass-like threads. If anyone has any suggestions on the best ways to photograph spider webs (e.g., at dust, back lit etc.), please let me know. My one hope is that the spider left on her own accord and not due to the actions of a fearful passerby.

To learn more about the mesmerizing black and yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia) and its habitat, visit the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Animal Diversity Web site at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Argiope_aurantia.html.

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Maria Perr

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