All our lovely harbingers of spring are to be welcomed

I confess. This is a repeat of a blog I ran a few years ago, but I think, since I saw my first jumping spider of the season just yesterday, that a nod in his/her direction is apt, especially since spiders get much less respect than they deserve.

Ran a check this morning after my shower, and there he was, ‘Marvin the Hall Spider’ sitting just outside the bathroom door. He reared back for a moment and then relaxed realizing it was I, once he’d checked me out with all six eyes.

Marvin has been there for about a week now. I’m not sure what his name really is, and maybe Salticidae Phideppi (jumping spiders) have a different form of nomenclature amongst their own kind. His name might well be either Wendell or even P1/2&gh%iii@ in the Phideppi dialect. But, I named him after Marvin the Depressive Robot in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Not to suggest that Marvin is a depressive. I don’t know if depression is a factor amongst arachnids.

Anyway, Marvin is a Jumping Spider, as I suggested. We get a lot of jumping spiders in the house this time of year. I regard them as fine little harbingers of spring. And when they come indoors, they take up residence in a specific area, and generally do not move away from there. Marvin is in the hall. We had one on the fridge door for a couple of weeks. Last year I had one near my computer keyboard. He never bothered me, and I never bothered him. One morning I came in and found that he had passed away. I felt bad about that, because there was no indication that he was even sick.

You might think that my acceptance of spiders is just so much foolishness, but it isn’t really. Spiders do a wonderful service. Since I am a bit of a Buddhist about killing things and, as I have stated before, will try to encourage an intruding insect to head outdoors. I draw the line at flies, mosquitoes and earwigs, just because they are nasty and spread disease. But otherwise, I defer to the spiders in the house. They are my mini-hitmen, and they are really adept at carrying through with a contract. I find little insect corpses, especially in the garage, all the time. And, my more sensitive sensibilities remain intact because I have had no direct role to play in their demise.

Spiders are actually fascinating creatures. I recall an article I read one time in which the entomologist relating factoids about arachnid behavior pointed out that they are, hands-down, the most efficient and vicious killing machines in the animal kingdom. They are utterly without remorse or hesitation. Spiders kill. They devote their brief lives to killing. They make big predators, like tiger sharks, for example, seem almost as benevolent as guppies, and grizzlies as kindly as Labrador puppies. But, with spiders, there are no flights of remorse or sympathy for their victims. Now, you gotta respect that.

So, just checked again. Marvin’s still there. The world is still as it should be.

10 responses to “All our lovely harbingers of spring are to be welcomed

  1. I’m a big fan of spiders (among other creeepy crawlies) myself. The cottage has lots of them – as a cottage in the woods is wont to have. The cottage also has few other bugs. They are efficient indeed. Gertrude in the living room is my current favourite.
    PS: Way cool photo, we have nothing so colourful

  2. I consider spiders a part of the team, an another front, in the attack on mosquitos and house flies. However I have been shocked, at least once a year for the last 5 or 6, by how brutal spider bites can be. I guess they are intent on killing me at that moment so inject the meat tenderizer venom into me. Thus far I have out weighed them, and that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon. Nasty, long-lasting bites though! Just wish I knew what the biting ones looked like – it seems they always strike in the night, and leave without a trace.

  3. My. Fly was bitten by a tarantula which he disturbed in the bedclothes…looked like an acid burn.
    Apart from that I’m a fan of spiders, though here we have geckos to do the fly eating work instead.
    Perhaps the tarantulas moved out in protest at Mr. Fly whacking the one that bit him.

    • I didn’t think tarantulas had venomous bites, they just looked scary. And you have geckos. I love geckos. Some of the geckos in the Cooks were practically the size of housecats. Prior to that I’d only experienced the little hawaiian ones.

  4. Great post, Ian! Marvin, after that robot-good one.:-)
    When I was taking pics of the flowers yesterday (on the blog) there was a dinky little spider on one,Barely more than 1cm and faster than a wink. I got one pic, but it was there all day.
    (I’ll go back and post my shot)

  5. Pingback: PLAYTIME | Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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