By Dave Coulter
I guess that my job exposes me to some unusual workplace situations. This morning I was pruning away some weak iris leaves when I encountered a big spider in a big web that was perched right over where I was working. In fact, the bottom strands of her web were fixed to a couple of iris leaves that were going to be cut, so we had to find a solution.
I used one of my pruned off leaves to shoo her away from mid-web, where she was dining (I guess) on wrapped up bug. She fought the flight instinct bravely, but soon saw that I was not going to give her any peace. She retreated upwards and hunkered down on a hydrangea leaf. She made herself small, like a lumpy chickpea.
This is high season for spiders. They've had all summer to fatten up and many of the ones that have survived this long into the season are full sized. On top of that, at E's house lately they have been reading Charlotte's Web. Add this all together and spiders - in my mind anyway - have a certain star quality these days.
But, celebrity or not, I had my irises to tend to. Her momentary fright gave me the time I needed to prune what I needed to prune. As a token of appreciation I relocated the mummified bug to a remaining web fragment inches away from her leafy refuge. This spider was pretty smart or pretty hungry. After about ten minutes she had already found and latched on to her meal. Urp.
I know what I think of her, but I wonder what she thought of me as I moved safely away? So yes, I ruined one spider's morning, but I did care enough to see that she got her lost meal back. She'll have the energy, I hope, to rebuild her web this evening. We all have our work to do, don't we?