The balcony spider

She wove her canvas in front of the kitchen window, brazenly on my balcony, anchoring her net on three concrete blocks lying there for two seasons.

Motionless all day long, it seems to me, but she must be moving, because sometimes she disappears. Cats are walking around, but she seems to pay no attention to them. There was a lot of wind last week. It didn’t matter. The spider has not lifted a single leg, well stowed despite the strong shaking. The whole thing held on.

I did my research. It is a cross spider. It only lives one year. The female is fertile for only four days. The males can approach her, but at their own risk and peril, offering the coveted female food to distract her. However, they are often eaten once their reproductive work is done.

Fertilized, the female lays her eggs in a cocoon placed in the hollow of a tree or, as there are many in the neighborhood, in the compost box. She does not survive this work.

The insect is harmless, but I must admit that the size of this specimen is impressive. Could this be a sign of a particular winter? This is not the first spider like this one that I have seen since I live in this house, but it is the first time I have seen one this big; it is a good three centimeters long.

Its long web is also remarkable, all the more so because it usually lasts only one day. The spider is reputed to rebuild its net every day. I doubt it for this one, because the web seems identical to me, sometimes broken, but repaired the next day.

In any case, the beast will disappear, and one of its daughters may come and rebuild its web in the same place next fall.

Every morning, I make sure that the insect is present. Its time will pass, of course, like anything else.

Me too, every day, I try to reweave my canvas, not as diligently as the insect, of course. It is that I dream a lot, even with my eyes open, and dreams, as we know, do not like to be caught. Conscious hours have nothing to do with cat-dreams. They weave, eat, capture, devour, prepare their cocoon in the hope, no doubt, that something will survive from their ephemeral mandala.