Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Worry and the alleviation of worry

You just keep looking for your glasses until you find them.

You finish the novel, and then you finish the next one.

You go to the chemist and get Strepsils and Betadine throat gargle and tickly cough medicine and two kinds of analgesics, and take/use them all one after the other.

And you ring up the little man with the chainsaw and he comes and cuts down most of the overgrown bottle-brush one of whose main branches is split from the fork and rapidly splitting further and further down the trunk as the foliage is tossed about in the wild weather, with half the tree about to come crashing down any minute on the shed and the other half on the precious fancy-pants irises, the fence, and three or four of the bloke next door's chooks.

After a consultation during which we prowl around muttering, looking at the tree from various angles, the little man with the chainsaw cuts off everything but the main trunk, which supports the branch where the orb weaver lives. In August. I ask you. Surely it can't be the same spider, though it is certainly living in the same tree.

This is what these spiders look like when holed up in the daytime, their legs all swooshed forwards to protect their heads, a bit like the crash position on those aircraft safety cards, or maybe they're just pretending to look like a chunk of tree. Are they related to squid, does anybody know?


Mindy said...

That would be one long lived orb weaver. I suppose if she is protected from the cold then she might still be the same spider. Our new crop haven't come out yet, so I wouldn't have thought that she was a new one from this year. Maybe it's a record!

I'm glad you stopped anything destroying the lovely irises. Mine are about to start flowering now, so yours are in bloom? You are usually about three weeks ahead in terms of flowering things, although the way this winter has been who knows.

Anonymous said...

We had one that lived in a peg on our clothesline. Lucy Sussex

naomi said...

orb spiders are hidjus bewdiful and I am quite sure it would be the same one because they must live for years, being so big and all

Anonymous said...

Squids and spiders are both Bilateria, bilaterally symmetrical critters, squids being in phylum Mollusca and the spiders in Arthropoda. Every household should have a periodic table and a phylogenetic tree to hand. The latter come in handy to slide under the glass when relocating some great hairy varmint :)