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"Journey into the Whirlwind"
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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Eensy, Weensy Spider

For the last two morning we have discovered a gift at the front door. It has been a gorgeous huge, breathtaking spider web. The spider is a large, hairy member of the arachnid family. I remember typing a paper for Mmmm, when he was in college, about arachnids. Wikipedia has this about them:

The arachnids, are a class (Arachnida) of joint-legged invertebrate animals in the subphylum Chelicerata. Arachnids are named after the mythological figure Arachne. They are chiefly terrestrial arthropods, comprising some 65,000 to 73,000 named species including spiders, scorpions, harvestmen, ticks, and mites. Arachnids may be easily distinguished from insects by the fact that arachnids have eight legs whereas insects have six.

That is probably more than you wanted to know. Ever since that paper, Mmmm and his daughter have been interested in arachnids. We arenít really crazy about the Black Widow spiders that hang out in the garage, and we are leery about making the acquaintance of the Brown Recluse. I am also not really fond of the ones that spin webs in the corners of the rooms. I am rather partial to the Daddy Long Legs. They are so elegant and gentle. When my sisters and I were little we would catch a Daddy Long Legs and gently hold one leg and ask it which way was home, and then release it. True Daddy Long Legs are members of the Harvestmen but this is not a scientific treatise on spiders. There are house spiders that look like Daddy Long Legs. They like to travel in bunches and they especially like my bathroom. When Kay was little she and her daddy would carefully gather up the spiders in a tissue and take them outside. Of course true house spiders would not appreciate this and would make a hasty retreat back to the house, I am sure.

When Mmmm and I spent a summer in Japan we always carried a stick in front of us early in the morning when we went down the path, to break the cobwebs that had been built overnight. One evening we were surprised and delighted to find a very unusual spider hanging around outside the back door of the cabin at Takayama. It had such an unusual web and was so amazing. It almost looked like a bumble bee instead of a spider. It had a large, round, black and yellow abdomen. Spiders are interesting and amazing. I just wish they didnít like my house so much.

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