Tuesday, August 19, 2014

new neighbor on the roof

A small orb-weaver spider has taken up residence between my tomato plant and the one next to it.

I am not afraid of spiders. I am, in fact, a bit fond of them because I think their webs are beautiful and I am awestruck at their ability to create them. I mean, they somehow manage to anchor long support wires off in three or four directions, then make them meet in the middle where they spin nets. I couldn't do that. And on a cool fall morning, when the dew drops make the web easy to admire, it is a great wonderment and worthy of thanksgiving and respect. Not that I want a spider crawling up my arm or anything, but I have no desire to assault any spider who is just going about her business creating beauty.

Unfortunately, this particular spider creates her web such that I can either respect her art or pick tomatoes off my plant. She's little at the moment, having just chosen her web site (spiders did that millenia before we did) and set up waiting for small bugs to stick to it so she can eat them and become larger.

But I want my tomatoes. So I broke through her web. She scurried off onto the tomato plant as I grabbed the two ripe ones. My guilt at the destruction did not interfere at all with my enjoyment of the tomatoes. It probably should have.

Two days later, I went up again. And there she was again. And there was her web again. And there were my tomatoes. I tried to find ripe tomatoes that were not on the other side of her web. I found one, but two more glowed through the delicate netting, and I had to swoop down like the ravening hordes again.

I don't know how long she can put up with this. While she weaves beautifully, I suspect she is not very flexible about where, plus which the space between tomato plants is probably ideal for catching bugs as they swoop over the roof. The tomato plant looks ready to keep producing for weeks to come. I wonder if there is a way for me to get her to relocate about four inches to the southeast back past most of the tomato plant. Or even down six inches so I could reach past. Anyone know how to negotiate locations with an orb spider?

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