V’s of geese honk across the sky, red and yellow striped-legged spiders make webs in the doorways, and the wolf spiders come into the house. These are the signs of fall in the north. Soon the dewy webs will glisten in the tall grass in the early morning. It is the time of the Spider Moon.
We have no word for simultaneous fascination and fear, and yet I think we all have this feeling about spiders. An enormous wolf spider appeared this morning and we fought the urge to squish it, trying instead to capture it in a mason jar to put it back outside. He was too fast and crawled into a tiny crevice by the door. Are you a spider squisher or one who sets them free? Arachnophobia, or the fear of spiders is real, deeply rooted in our evolution as a response to a fear of venom. On the more playful side, here are a few favorite spiders from my collection.
Charlotte’s Web (Charlotte is probably the first spider to win our young hearts.)
Anansi the Spider (A Tale from the Ashanti)
The Roly Poly Spider (I love the illustrations in this book!)
Sophie’s Masterpiece (Sophie is an artist who weaves a magnificent gift.)
Sugar Spider (from my cartoon titled Housewife Alert #17)
I Know An Old Lady (who swallowed a spider. It wriggled and wriggled and tickled inside her.)