Today I was getting gas before heading to see Mary Poppins, and the pump was running up higher and higher, I was watching a spider climbed down on her silk and I was thinking about how nice it would be to be a spider. It got me thinking about charlottes web. Charlotte had a job to do all she had to do was spin her web, and spin a new one every day untuntil it was time to lay her eggs and then she passed on. The babies grew in her egg sack hatched, and all but 3 flew off to make their own life, without the influence of a parent, their successes were their own, and their failures their own. And I was thinking about how much I might like to be a spider. Just spinning my webs, day after day.
What I learned about Charlotte was she is an Araneus cavaticus.
Barn Spiders (Araneus cavaticus) are large, grayish, heavy-bodied spiders. This is one of the Araneus species known as “angulate”, a reference to the well-developed “shoulder humps”. On the underside of the abdomen it has a broad black band running down the center, the forward half bordered by two curving yellow lines, with a pair of yellow spots near the center of this band. Barn Spiders are found in the eastern United States from New England and adjacent Canada southwest through West Virginia to Alabama and Texas, but are generally more common in the northern part of the range. They often often build their webs around structures such as barns, bridges, arbors, fences, and porches, but have also been found beneath overhanging cliffs.
Adults of both sexes are densely covered with spines and hair-like bristles. The legs of the male are very long and thin and densely covered with long, thin spines. Body length is around 13 to 22 mm for females and 10 to 19 mm for males.
Orb webs are taken down (consumed) at the end of each night and rebult the next night. Most of the web is effectively solubilized and recycled by the spider (Townley and Tillinghast 1988).
This species is famous in literature as the model for Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web by the 20th century American author E.B. White.
But then I thought about all the people that hate spiders and the fact that I might get smooshed.
I thought about a maple tree. Providing sap in the spring and gorgeous colors in the fall. But I could get chopped down and made into a piece of furniture, or a hardwood floor I suppose that wouldn’t be so bad….
I don’t know why I was thinking this, but it’s all I could think abut my entire trip to Mary Poppins office….
So what would you be if you weren’t a human?