Tuesday, April 17, 2007


A spider may not be everybody's idea of a beautiful creature, but they are artists in their own way.

This web hung below a cherry tree, welcoming people to my home last fall as they turned into the driveway (well, if they looked closely and the morning dew was just right). :)

Some folks wait to see the first robin; I'm waiting for the first spider webs of Spring to soon appear.


blackcrag said...

Spiders are inspirational too. Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland, had just lost a battle against the Sassenach English and was avoiding the redcoats in a cave.

Hiding out from foreign soldiers who want nothing better than to run you through with their bayonets is boring work, so our noble hero distracted himself watching a spider make its web.

The spider was merrily weaving his web, no doubt anticipating all the juicy flies he was about to catch (as English soldiers weren't too keen on bathing, there were more than usual about), completely unaware he was granted an impromptu a royal audience, when he hit a snag. Or rather, he didn't hit a snag.

You see, the spider’s target was just a little too far away for our secondary hero, the spider, to quite reach. Once, he swung out as far a he could swing, and he swung back. Twice, he swung out across the expanse between his web and the snag, and twice he swung back. A third attempt met a third failure and, indeed, the fourth attempt fared no better. The fifth attempt was close, yet no cigar (though the spider didn't want a cigar. The spider didn't smoke as a carelessly dropped match would set his whole web ablaze in a pouf of smoke). And the spider, a very stubborn spider, tried yet a sixth time. This was his best attempt yet, but it was still a mere attempt. Our spider lacked the satisfying success of reaching the just-too-distant snag.

But our hero the spider wasn't the kind just to give up. He spun his silk, and he swung, and he swung back, and he swung out, and he swung back, and, with a determined push of all eight legs, our spider friend swung out across the cave mouth and landed on the snag. After taking a brief moment to congratulate himself (and ease his shaken nerves, as it was a very long distance for a spider to cross, even if our kingly spectator could have breached the distance with half of one arm), our spider industriously continued weaving his web.

Now, it just so happens, this battle our kingly Robert Bruce so recently lost, was the sixth battle between the sneaky English and the brave Scots patriots for the freedom of all Scotland. It was the sixth attempt to roll the trespassing English (and their flies) back across the rightful Scotland-England border. It was the sixth attempt, and it was a failed attempt.

But scrappy Robert the Bruce, rightful king of a free and fruitful Scotland, took our industrious and determined spider's example to heart. He ran out of the cave (heedless of the spider's web now adorning his left sleeve), gathered his forces once more, and finally lead them to victory against the interloping Redcoats, driving them back to their own soggy land, and of the bare and beautiful moors of Scotland.

And our friend the spider? Well, after healthily cussing out the thoughtless Scottish king, he started back at the beginning, weaving his web in the mouth of the cave, wishing the English flies would stick around just a little longer...

Disclaimer: This tale is as true as it was told to me, or as close as I think I was told it, by a source I can’t quite recollect, or maybe I read bits and pieces of it somewhere. The spider’s gender may or may not have been changed to protect its identity, although I can definitely say its name was not Gertrude. I’ve never met any spider named Gertrude, so I can authoritatively say the spider wasn’t called Gertrude…

Anonymous said...

Blackcrag, that is the best rendition of the story that I have ever seen! Thank-you.

Spidey-girl, I love your pet's web. I do think you shouldn't let your pet have caffeine on her breaks, though... I see symptoms...


[eric] said...

Much pity to the poor, poor person looking down at his Blackberry as he walks face first into it.

Pity to the spider too.

Pol* said...

Spidey webs are lovely so long as they aren't in my face unexpectedly while walking... then I am forced to do the "is-there-a-spider-in-my-hair" dance! pretty pretty.

Tai said...

Lovely post, so elegantly written.

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

Beautiful post, Spider! And beautiful reply, BC!

Ms.L said...

I LOVE Spiders:)
Here in the Interior
we have so many different kinds
and some of them are so beautiful
(Marbled Orb Weavers come to mind)
They still scare me a bit-Big Brown in Maple Ridge who could have carried away the furniture on his back if he wanted too!-but I admire them so much and always find I have time to watch them in their work.

Hageltoast said...

I hate spiders in real life, terrified of them, but spiders and webs in art and webs like that when the owner isn't home i think are just gorgeous.

Josie said...

My daughter and her husband were married on the edge of the forest on Vancouver Island. It was late afternoon, and just behind the priest there was a beautiful, large, perfectly symmetrical spider's web high in the trees. The way the sun hit the web, it looked like spun gold, and it reminded me of the rose window in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.


Spider Girl said...

Blackcrag: Being a fan of both spiders and Scotland, I have heard this tale before--but I've never heard it quite so entertainingly told. :)

LJ: Caffeine is necessary to life...

Eric: Hee hee :)

Pol: I'd like to see your dance, dearie!

Tai and Kim: Why thank-you!

Ms.L.: I'm so glad you like them too. :)

Hageltoast: Once upon a time I wasn't very fond of the little creatures either, but I've come to an appreciation. And I've ALWAYS thought the webs were rather lovely.

Josie: That's a beautiful mental image!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

A spider web is a thing of great beauty. I like to have them around, catching the sun, and never kill their makers out of respect for their artistry as much as for the sanctity of life.

That's a lovely photo, too.

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