The orbweavers are just fantastic this time of year and I could watch them for hours. Those delicate little spinnerets! Those awesome stripey legs! At night they weave fresh webs in a lovely methodical dance of rhythm and precision that I never grow tired of watching. It amazes me every time I see it. Step step step -cross back leg over- connect line to spoke- step step step - cross over.. around and around they go. How quickly they scuttle to investigate when they feel the slightest vibration, the web disturbed by an intruder-soon-to-be-dinner. It's just as wonderful to watch them systematically take the old webs down, consuming them as they go in an ultimate form of recycling. They like to hang out near the lights by the outside doors so there is a handy spotlight for the nightly show. During the day the tables are turned and it's a game of catch-as-catch-can while the song sparrows hunt around the windows and doors, diving and darting to quickly gobble the spiders up. All too soon the remaining females will cocoon up the next generation in a neat little sac of eggs, and their days will come to an end.
These wonderful creatures are garden spiders, also known as cross orbweavers or garden orbweavers. They are in the same genus as that most famous of barn spiders, and though not as literate, I find them quite lovely just the same.
'Oh, yes indeed,' said Wilbur. 'Yes indeed! How are you? Good morning! Salutations! Very pleased to meet you. What is your name please? May I have your name?'
'My name,' said the spider, 'is Charlotte.'
'Charlotte what? asked Wilbur, eagerly.
'Charlotte A. Cavatica. But just call me Charlotte.'
'I think you're beautiful,' said Wilbur.
'Well I am pretty,' replied Charlotte. 'There's no denying that. Almost all spiders are rather nice-looking. I'm not as flashy as some, but I'll do...'