Yiaaaacckkk!!! I did it again! Ran into that big spider web hanging from the canopy out back. The spider had closed down for the day, but she left her web, and now she'll have to spend half of this evening reconstructing it. She is like the spider that stung my colleague on his head, hitting a neural path and causing extreme pain for a considerable length of time. I don't want to run into one of those!
I actually have a strange sort of affection, or loyalty to smaller spiders. The kind who build small webs in corners of rooms, for example. There is the absolute teeniest of spiders in our bath, just outside the walk-in shower, in the corner where the door joins the wall. She measures about 1.1 mm I'm guessing. Every time I'm in there I check to see if Carlotta is still there. I've named her that because back in Madison my spider's name was Charlotte, as in the book about Charlotte's web and the pig by E.B. White. Charlotte was a bit larger, maybe 1.8 mm. Actually, there was Charlotte I and Charlotte II. The first Charlotte met a tragic end when I unintentionally sucked her into the vacuum cleaner one day. But fortunately another one claimed squatter's rights and moved into her spot. This spot was better protected than Carlotta's, being in a corner of the kitchen near our breakfast table, where we seldom went. The family thought I had some strange leanings toward spiders, but humored me. My thought was that house spiders kept down the insect population, and were very useful, besides savings exterminator bills. I feel a certain affection for them because they seem very brave to me, settling into places where at any moment they may be obliterated. I'm always cautioning Charlie to watch where he drops the bath mat down before getting into the shower. It could create just enough breeze to unsettle Carlotta from her little space.
This spider commentary is not meant to be a crusade for noble causes, but simply musings on the value of house spiders. I do have mixed feelings about the larger ones who weave big webs outside our back door. The courage to share indoor house space with humans is admirable, and I often encourage Carlotta to go get'em. . the ants, I mean. She has what looks like the corpses of three ants on the floor just below her and I haven't the heart to vacuum them up. Besides, that would risk taking up Carlotta as well.
We also have a spider near our front door, there in the hallway. She does not have a name, and I really don't have any particular fondness for her as yet. Some times I think rationing out affection to a select few has its pluses, so Carlotta will remain my only indoor favorite spider. I just hope our dog Katie leaves her alone.