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