Saturday, November 28, 2009

Where is Shelob?

Earlier in the year I blogged about S.O.U.S. (Spiders of Unusual Size). One of these little beasts had made her home in my backyard and I decided to give her a rather wide berth. Particularly since I was away so much of the summer, it seemed reasonable that she could have reign of the backyard while I was gone. Well, returning home for the beginning of noughth week, I discovered that she had disappeared – vanished without a trace. I joked that we had made a deal, I bought her plane tickets to florida for the winter, and in return she spun a web with the words “Some Physicist” (*). However, what I really suspected was that she had just come to the end of her life cycle (which for some spiders is not very long). Particularly in cold climates, spider life cycle tends to be yearly and it I figured it was a good bet that Shelob had croaked.

Alas, I fear this may not be the case. Over lunch with Dame Carol Jordan, the discussion randomly turned to the S.O.U.S. “Oh, yes”. She said. “I think that type of garden spider hibernates for the winter and comes back out in the spring… impressive little things aren’t they?”.

I wish I hadn’t asked. Remind me to not go out in my backyard for the next year or two.

(*) Joke credit goes to Nuntiya Kakanantadilok


Jessy Randall said...

The obvious question is, where is she hibernating? And the obvious answer is, in your house.

sarah said...

Check your shoes! we have one living in the upper corner of my front porch that does look big enough to eat a small dog. i think it might have succumbed to the cold this weekend.

Steve said...

Eeyuck! I wish you had not put that image into my head!

Margot said...

I can only recommend a semester spent viewing spiders under a dissecting scope as I did for one college class many years ago (yes, they were all dead at the time). I must say, I've loved them ever since!

Steve said...

My vivid recollection is that you loved them long before college!