“Aunt Pam! Aunt Pam!” my great grandniece’s little voice echoed throughout the house. How I love this little girl and her curiosity. Seldom do I get to be in the same state where she lives, but coming back to Indiana and Miss Della is always the same. We pick up where we left off, having adventure after adventure.
A spider had made a nice home on the porch. I knew it would be swept away, so I asked Della to help me move the web. We talked about all the good things that spiders do and how they do better away from people outside even though inside has so many fun places to build a web. Carefully, we detected the web, her carrying one side and me the other. We placed the web on a shrub along with the eggs the spider had so safely stored. For the next couple days, we watched as the spider hid her eggs behind a leaf. Then on the third day when we checked, the spider had made a new web with her eggs safely tucked into the silken strands. Lessons learned.
If you are a follower of my writings, then you know how much I include learning experiences in all I do with my grands. Isn’t that my job as a grandparent? Well, it is for me. I want them to open their minds to possibilities and exploration. I hope to add to their curiosity and to make them custodians of the earth. I hope to give them opportunities to make their own observations not mine. Has this type grandparenting paid off? Indeed.
Many of our neighbors spray for spiders. Maybe it is “Charlotte’s Web” or maybe just common sense that we prefer to allow the spiders their lives. On a morning when I was out feeding my hummingbirds, I noticed a perfectly round spider web. It hung midair on thin lines between two trees. Perfectly round. The ultra violet rays of the sun shining through the web created rainbow colors. Colors not seen unless the sun kissed the web and created a living piece of art. How could I ever have hurt a creature who created such beauty.
I know. You don’t get it. You hate spiders and, most of all, the webs that seem to find their places everywhere you look. Well, take some time to really look at this artistic little insect. It labors to survive. It creates a web that captures and stores food. It lays eggs in that flimsy web and cradles them with the strength of her creation. Beauty is all she can create. She does not take away. She adds to. Rarely do they bite. And, rarely do I bite. Win win.
Remember when you squash a spider or tear down a web that spiders are an important part of our ecosystems. They feed on common indoor insects like roaches, earwigs, mosquitoes, flies and clothes moths. If you don’t mess with them, they will consume most of the insects in your home. Thus less chemicals and costly pest removal. They are natures balance. We are their protectors. The web we weave.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.