Mistress of the Garlic
Iris and I found an exquisite yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia) in the garlic patch on the farm yesterday. She was huge – from toe tip to toe tip she was about the size of my index finger! Her web, accordingly, was about two feet wide and tall, with that beautiful and telltale zigzag design down the middle.
If I was afraid of spiders, stumbling into this lady and her home would have given me a heart attack. Luckily, I’ve always had a deep respect and fascination with them, and, besides, these particular spiders are calm, peaceful and not venomous.
Iris, on the other hand, has frequent nightmares about spiders, and has a bit of breakdown if she so much as notices a web somewhere (god help us all if one should touch her!). So I had to spend some time reassuring her that this spider was helping us by building her web there – catching all the bad bugs and whatnot – and that she wouldn’t hurt us. Eventually Iris calmed down and we spent some time crouched in front of the web, admiring her beauty and size, wondering about what life was like for a spider among the garlic stalks, a queen of her own domain.
We decided it must be a fine thing, indeed.
(Iris wanted me to know, however, that she still doesn’t like spiders. Fair enough I guess, even though they are a fact of life – especially on a farm!)