I have never been much of a spider fan and suffer from a case of arachnophobia where big wolf spiders (I mean BIG wolf spiders … see: our basement in KG) are concerned. My long-suffering father threw many an enormous hairy arachnid back into our woods as we all ran around screaming. And I’m still not sure I’ve completely forgiven him for that one time years ago when he casually allowed me to sit and chat at the kitchen table, knowing I was totally unaware that two ENORMOUS wolf spiders were scuttling around literally right next to my bare feet.
But a cute little creature named Charles has taken over one corner of our balcony, and I don’t want him to leave. When I first saw his web out there, my initial thought was to get Eric to move him elsewhere. But as I sit reading a healthy distance away, our little stripey-legged friend catches and devours all the bugs that normally bite me. So I’ve made peace with this arachnid. His name is Charles, he has a rather large web, and he retreats into our stored Christmas wreath (stacked against the wall) whenever a storm comes in and blows his web down, only to return and rebuild very quickly. He’s done this a few times now. He vanished when a thunderstorm struck, then again as Hurricane Irene approached. The storm ripped down his web, and I worried he might be getting soggy in the torrential downpour. That’s right, I was worried about a spider. But by the following afternoon, anchor strands had already reappeared. He moves really fast. Whenever we’re blessed with a warm day again, I’ll be out there reading and propping up my feet, while he wrecks all those bugs. Who would’ve thought I’d ever be happy to befriend a spider? (Although over the past few months, he’s been getting bigger and bigger … we may need to reconsider his rental agreement.)