One September night I noticed this spider web above our back door. The web looked scary. What if the architect dropped in my hair when I walked through the door? As I looked closer, I appreciated the beautiful way it glistened under our porch light. The spider worked hard to create a masterpiece. Why should I tear it down? After all, the web snared flying insects before they entered the house.
I strained my eyes to try and find the spider. The web hung several feet above my head. In the center I made out a small orange fuzzy looking ball. If that was the spider, it looked harmless.
I asked my family to take a look. Our daughter was visiting at the time. She knew the spider was a spotted orb weaver. “I had one build a web on my balcony,” she said. “I didn’t tear it down because it built an amazing web. It died after a few months.”
For her sake I didn’t disturb the web that night. But after a few more days, I wondered how big this web could get. What if I can no longer get through the door without feeling its sticky threads on my face?
I had an idea. I’ll gently sweep out the web. The spider will probably stick to the broom. I’ll place the broom in the alley overnight and give the orb weaver a chance to escape without killing it. Then my daughter won’t think I’m a murderer. I’ll be rid of this problem. I grabbed the broom and quickly carried out my plan before I could change my mind.
The next day I discovered the web was back in the same place. I couldn’t believe it. The spider must have hidden behind the porch light when I swept the web away. In twenty- four hours it rebuilt its web. Then I saw it. I realized the orange fuzzy ball really did have legs and was scurrying down toward me. Yikes!
I took a deep breath and my fear slowly dissipated. The spotted orb weaver was definitely a master builder. My plan to get rid of it failed. Why don’t I just let it be? So I did for another week…
Until the exterminator came for his routine visit. “How are things?” he asked.
“I only saw one roach this month, and it was lying on its back.” I replied. “But there is a large spider web above the back door.”
The exterminator smiled, “I’ll take care of that.”
After his visit, I didn’t see a trace of the web above the door. I kind of missed the spotted orb, but after all, it was only a spider.
During the first week of October we prepared for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. We expected the worst, and were relieved when Matthew did not make a direct hit on the Florida coast. Orlando experienced winds strong enough to down trees in the area.
The day after the storm I noticed our porch light tilted sideways. As I looked closer I saw a smaller web hanging between the light and the side of the house.
Unbelievable, I thought. This spider is some escape artist. Its web was swept down. The door frame where it made its home was sprayed with poison. Somehow the spotted orb weaver built another web that withstood forty mph winds. It will not leave until its ready. So now I wait. Maybe I’ll wear a hat when I go out.