29 September 2009

the arachnophile

I admit to being somewhat of an Arachnophile. Spiders have always intrigued me and while I don't much appreciate it when they bite me from time to time... I can't help but forgive them and continue to marvel in their artistry.

Each autumn I usually "make friends" with the spider who sees fit to
build its nightly web outside my house. We share pleasant salutations with one another. I compliment its current web, say I'll leave the light on to attract some food, tip my proverbial hat to its web building acumen in the face of brusk, windy nights. I imagine the spider is appreciative yet wary of my interest. As others of my species tend to shoo her kind away or (shock horror!!!) smush them upon sight. But I hold fast to my belief that the spiders eat the "bad bugs" and any arachnid that is going to eradicate mosquitoes is a friend of mine.

So I was intrigued when I heard the NPR story about the "million spider tapestry" currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. I was relieved to see the "No spiders were hurt during the making of this tapestry" disclaimer attached to the article. And was shocked to learn the undertaking took 4 years at a cost of a half-million dollars. I definitely want to check out this tapestry in person. But I think the most wonderful thing of all is that in spite of the incredibly creative and intricate workmanship, cost, and time required to create this tapestry, it's beauty pales in comparison with the webs I see outside my window at night. The spider continues to inspire us all. But we will never improve upon its innate skill and showmanship.