Arabella Comes to Live with Us

One morning in mid-September I opened the door to greet my dad. As he started to step across the threshold I halted him. I was looking at him through the gauzy fiber of a lovely web. I looked up and in the corner of the door way was this most beautiful orb-weaver spider. Dad leaned over and came inside. The web had been attached to the door near the handle and my opening it had disturbed the lower area of the web.

I had a discussion with the spider. I told her she could live there, but she must not attach her web to the door. She is still on the porch and she never attached her web to the door again. She remained in the upper right hand corner of the doorway until she laid her egg sac. She then moved the the left side of the door under one of the coach lights. I named her Arabella.

Needless to say most people think I'm nuts to leave a spider, especially a large and scary-looking spider on my front porch. I have a tendency to greatly respect the natural world around me and will live with them as long as they don't bring disease (mice, rats, roaches, etc) or are poisonous and dangerous (brown recluse, rattlesnakes, etc) or cause damage to structures (termites). Other than that I perfectly happy sharing my small part of the world with nature. So let those that can't abide Mother Nature think I'm that crazy woman living in the woods.

As a rule I don't use insecticides, or chemicals. As a result I've been rewarded with a daily show of nature and the circle of life. My trees (and I have many) are filled with sap-suckers, woodpeckers, owls, crows, Coopers hawks, and many songbirds. I have rabbits all over the place. A groundhog (whistle-pig) lives under my garden shed and has not been destructive in my garden. I have field mice, chipmunks and moles which the owls and other birds of prey feast upon. There has also been a cat hunting daily on the property. I watch as she goes trotting through the woods with a mole dangling from her mouth.

It is like a small paradise and I adore it. Everything has its role to play and here it gets played out without chemical interference. Humans are killing themselves and everything around us with chemicals. We've become hyper-sensitive to how nature takes care of itself. We will turn on tv to watch autopsies and grotesque putrid remains being found and identified, but let one owl carry off a shrieking mouse or let one cat hunt for it's dinner or one spider who chooses to live close by and we're all ready to bring in the guys spewing poisons.

As for me, I'll continue to let spiders reside here as long as they play well with others. Arabella has proven to be a great addition to my front porch. She is gracious and eats the pestier insects in a balance that doesn't irradicate them or us in the process. I created this image for my desktop. So I can always remember the importance of spiders in our daily lives.

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