It was late on an autumn afternoon when I watched a spider devour her catch. She was a huge spider. Still I couldn’t believe how her delicate web had caught the large unfortunate insect she now frantically encased in her silk. Was it a small butterfly or moth perhaps?
The web was at least three and a half feet across. Spanning two Willow branches and anchoring to the tall rushes at the bank of the lake. Even blown by a steady breeze the web held strong. She sat at the center clutching her victim “look what I’ve caught” she seemed to say.
I could see her abdomen growing as she fed. Moving her victims body with her legs she shook it to get every drop.
Then from the corner of the web I noticed a shy tiny male spider timidly making his approach. He was so small and almost transparent. He hardly looked like a mate to this magnificent brown and amber lady with an abdomen now nearing the size of a quarter. Closer he crept. Too close as she felt him and lunged shaking the web violently. Sending him packing back to the Willow.
“Don’t bother me. I’m eating!” she said (or so I imagined).
His retreat stopped at the Willow leaf. He turned to wait. Wait until she’s good and full. Wait until after dark. I knew he planned to make his approach again but it was getting late and I couldn’t stay to watch. “Good luck buddy” I told him as I left “but I’m afraid you’re going to be dessert!”