[Tweeters] Watching Windows

jeff gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Tue Jan 29 07:13:43 PST 2013



It's been awhile since I've washed the windows in my house. I've been watching them instead.

Downstairs in the funky basement of our old place I really have a lot of window watching to do because light attracts flies and flies attract spiders. Those windows are a who's who of indoor spiders. My "Summer office" (too cold ,wet and clammy now) window faces North with a view of a real buggy window well. Lots of spiders inside and out. Just below the window I have a short little wall shelf to set a radio on. Now it's barren- sort of. The spiders have moved in. Each end of this shelf is neatly bracketed by a pair of Funnel Web Spider webs.These flat and densely woven webs are about the size of a bar napkin cut diagonally in half. Back against the wall corner is a neat round tunnel where the spider lurks, usually hiding. The spider on the East end of the shelf did an especially fine web building job, attached not only to the end of the shelf, but also to a pair of lower jaw bones of a cat (Coyote victim) I found in Wisconsin. Sort of a sinister scene when the dark spider comes out and perches out at the entry of her hole.

Upstairs I can watch windows while washing dishes. Under the overhang below the upper sash window, there are a number of spiders wintering. On the left window is a nice brown suede Cross Spider; the common (and introduced) Orb-weaving spider around here. They're pretty tough- I saw one build a fresh web during our recent episode of 20 degree fog. The one in the window was a big butt female who I hadn't seen move from her corner for a month or so. Next in line down the window, were two Common House Spiders, both of them with silk egg-sacks built up into their corners. A few days ago, while watching the window, a male Ruby-crowned Kinglet fluttered up to the window and snagged some sort of bug/spider off the window sill and then perched on a branch and flashed his red crown at me! Pretty neat to see from 30 inches away. Two days ago another Kinglet hovered at the window, as I stood there, and snagged one of the House Spiders! Possibly inspired by this, the Cross Spider laid her eggs all the next night; in the morning her big abdomen was completely deflated, and her silky nest was full.

The next sink window over has a big dark Funnel Web Spider in one corner. Since her web is up against the window, I have an inside view of her lair. Looking closely I have a spider eye view (OK, I'm short 6 eyes) right out of her tunnel hole to her outer web, which is kind of cool. Her web, full of insect carcasses, looks like a bug junkyard. It's like an ad I saw recently in the latest edition of Bug Digest ('bugging you since 62'):


" Come on down to FUNNEL FRAN'S USED FLY PARTS!!!.

YEAR END SALE!

This weeks special; 2012 Crane Fly parts
body totaled, but matching pair of wings in good condition,
one left rear leg also available.


Call us toll free at (888) 888-8888, or check out our Website @ funnelfrans.net
Drop-in's welcome. Just tap web for speedy customer service! "


Yesterday my wife caught me gawking at the kitchen window again. She asked "hey are you washing those dishes or just watching them! And what about those windows!"

Jeff Gibson
watching
Everett Wa





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