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|I don't know about these spiders||Sep 01, 2015 11:14 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share|
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This spider has been having a rough time of it out there, especially with the pretty good rain and wind storm we had over the weekend. Even on a relatively calm day like today it might end up having to rebuild its web several times over the course of the day. This morning, I found it had redone the center of its web after morning rain, so the raindrops only cover the older, outer part. Kind of a pearl necklace! Cool beans, spider.
(Okay I wasn't gonna but while I'm talking about spiders I might as well. At the gym, there was this daddy longlegs (aka cellar spider, apparently—the ones with tiny bodies and super-long, super-thin legs, each several inches long but thin as thread) who'd moved into the corner where I usually stretch out, right under the low, sloping ceiling. That was okay as far as I was concerned because it was several feet above my head level and not right above me. Then, some days later, a *second* one showed up. This one had a slightly rounder, darker body; I kind of assumed it was male and the first was then female, but actually I have no idea. Anyway, "he" was there a couple days, kind of hanging around the other one, trying to creep up on "her" once in a while, which she was in no mood for; she would wave a leg or something at him and he'd beat a little retreat.
Then one day, as I was like right there looking up at them, he tried to make a move, got caught, tried to bail, and fell RIGHT AT ME. I jumped back, looked hastily around for him at floor level, and spotted him already scurrying back up the wall. But he only went about a third of the way up, where he hid under an old pipe. I thought he'd be back up at the ceiling by the next day, but he wasn't; never saw him again.
A few days later, the remaining spider, solo again, moved down to a lower ledge on the wall, about a foot down—and now maybe just a foot above head level. This initially caused me some misgivings while trying to go through my little pre-cardio-room stretching routine, but the spider seemed okay with me pretending to hold the wall below "her" up for a little while each day, and watching her slowly circle her legs around gave me something to do while stretching, so that was all right.
But after another day or so, I'm there stretching, and all of a sudden she wades across her invisible web drapery under the ledge until she's perpendicular to me, a half-foot or so above my eye level, and then she sort of pumps her body up and down rapidly—but sort of smoothly, not jerkily. I thought maybe she was trying to scare me off so I wouldn't be waving my arms around so close to her web. But I was determined not to be scared off. "No spider's gonna push *me* around," I said to myself. She went back to her usual roost off to the side, and I finished stretching more or less as normal, keeping a brave face on things.
But now I wasn't sure when she might dash out and pulsate at me again, and for some reason that worried me. I found myself stretching out off to the side once in a while. Then, maybe a day or so after the first time, she ran out and did the pumping motion right above me again—but way less rapidly this time, and for a shorter time, so it really didn't seem threatening. Was she...trying to make friends?
This actually worried me more. I wasn't sure how I felt about this. I went to stretching out off to the side more and more. And I got to wondering, in my now non-spider-watching spare stretching time, how long the spider would be there. I never saw evidence of her having caught any bugs in her web—there really weren't many bugs flying through the spot she'd chosen, or even that entire room. Wasn't she getting hungry?
THEN the thing happened that's the reason why I'm bothering to tell this really long story. I'd gotten complacent and gone back to my usual spot beside where the spider hung out in the nook above. I'm there stretching my calf or whatever, leaning forward with my two hands braced against the wall, and I look up to see her moving along her web to a point directly in front of me, only again like a half-foot above (the ledge sloping down from her starting point a bit). I remove one hand—the one she's closer to being directly over—from the wall, but otherwise stay there, watching, my face maybe a foot or foot and a half from the wall, looking up. Is she gonna to that pulsing thing? Am I being shooed off again?
Well, she doesn't do that. She lowers herself on a new web line, slowly, until she's DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF MY EYES. She dangles there, motionless except for the play of the line causing her to revolve slightly. I probably forget to breathe. THE SPIDER PURPOSEFULLY SUSPENDED ITSELF DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF MY FACE. Seconds pass. The spider slowly climbs back up the line, back along the web, back to rest at her usual spot slightly off to the side.
I am definitely weirded out. Vague memories from the book "Charlotte's Web" trot uncertainly through my brain. I don't know what to do. I can't keep this up. I figure out how to do all my stretching way off to the side, around the corner of a semi-pillar where the spider can't see me. I peek cautiously around once or twice a day to see if the spider is still there. "She" is, for days and days, until one day she's back up at the higher spot, right under the low ceiling. A few days later, after the big rain/wind storm, the spider is gone.
Okay, I'm probably done talking about spiders for a while. o: )