Incy Wincy spider climbed up the waterspout,
Down came the rain and washed the spider out,
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,
So Incy Wincy spider climbed up the spout again.Folk song / nursery rhyme, author unknown
As this traditional song suggests, spiders are pretty persistent. Remember the tale of Robert the Bruce? Legend has it that when he was struggling in his fight against the English he hid out in a cave. While there he watched a spider try time and again to spin its web. Every time the spider fell, it got up and began again. Bruce was inspired by the spider to continue his campaign against the English, culminating in victory at Bannockburn.
The legend is generally held to be untrue, although Bruce may well have hidden out in caves. But it captures the same characteristic of spiders as the nursery rhyme, one that we are encouraged to learn from: their constant striving in the face of ups and downs in life. While many of us may not like them, and some fear them (arachnophobia is relatively common among phobias), that dislike or fear is largely irrational. Spiders on the whole do far more good than harm. They play a key role in eco-systems, controlling the numbers of many less helpful invertebrates. Yet most of us would probably rather not see one in the house, and for some people seeing one anywhere is a genuine trigger of panic or anxiety. Not everywhere in the world however; in some cultures a spider represents a tasty snack!
Spiders and their webs
I’m coming late to Denzil’s Nature Photo challenge on this theme (saving my moon shots, pun intended, for next week!) I was away when it was launched but with prior notice I’d been putting aside my best spider images and even taking a few more especially for this challenge, so, belatedly, here they are. Let’s start with a spider in my own garden (where my feature photo was also taken), followed by a selection from my travels. As always I’ve relied on Google lens for identification for some of these; apologies if I (or Google) have got it wrong! And arachnophobes, look away now!
European garden spider on an apple leaf in our garden
I think this is a northern golden orb weaver (Nephila pilipes), seen at a wilderness camp in western Goa
Our guide called this a Yellow string spider, but I think it’s more generally known as a Golden silk orb-weaver – Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Another golden silk orb-weaver at Cayena Beach Villas near Tayrona National Park, Colombia
And yet another golden silk orb-weaver in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Silver argiope in Corcovado NP, Costa Rica
Longjawed Orbweaver, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Tarantula in its burrow, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Tarantula emerging from its burrow, Monteverde, Costa Rica
And now for something rather different:
Fried tarantulas for sale in Skun (aka Spider Town), Cambodia
And just for fun to finish, a post box with spider topper in South Ealing