This has proven to be an unusual late spring in that it feels like late summer; dryness in the air, dust on the gloves, and grey in the sky. Although we’re not in summer yet, August looms near. A sure sign that seasons are askew is the prevalence of spiders around my house and garden. If my memory is correct, this phenomenon occurs more frequently in late summer and early fall, or at least it appears so. Did I miss a month this year? Granted, I’ve been distracted but this is odd. Spiders and their small, stringy webs (not the big, beautiful orb webs seen in autumn) seem to be on every plant in my garden and hanging from every gutter and fascia of my house. Each morning that I go to work outside I am greeted by a face-full of silk. I don’t appreciate it even though I tell myself that spiders are beneficial creatures. I know this. I know that they eat aphids and other pests and I’ve seen more than one wasp trapped in an autumn web, but this isn’t autumn and I’m not ready to deal with spiders this early in the morning. I tell myself that I like spiders as I brush a web from my sleeve. I tell myself that I need spiders in my garden as I walk through the stringy mess and one falls around my neck and arms and OH GOD IT’S ON MY FACE! Now I’m sure I feel something crawling down my back underneath my shirt and ARRRGH!! I scream! There’s one crawling down my bare arm right now! Before I can get control of myself, I am running in place, jumping up and down and frantically flapping my arms around my head and neck and trying not to scream too loud because I know the poor spider is already flying over the hedge at an incredible speed (I didn’t mean to do that) and my neighbor isn’t awake yet but now IT’S REALLY CRAWLING DOWN MY BACK!
At this point, the poor spider is not only long gone but quite dead, I’ve had my exercise for the morning, and my neighbor is awake. Well, it could be worse. You could have a spider crawling down your back RIGHT NOW!