Country diary: wrapped up in a spider’s web


Buxton, Derbyshire: When the house breathes I can see the web billow, suggesting how the structure retains its integrity

In our house we operate a spider-friendly regime that can feel at times too weighted towards the arachnids. Yet I’m a sucker for the beautiful symmetry in the webs of orb-weaver spiders. This individual, possibly one of the widespread species in the genus Metellina, built in our bedroom last summer.

The web was sited between the window frame and its reveal so that it spread at 45 degrees to the glass. By night it caught the incoming breezes and most mornings I awoke to my spider eating its breakfast. In the autumn, as the temperatures and insect numbers fell, the creature lapsed into stillness and in November I noticed that its firm outline had slumped, but the author remained suspended in its own signature of silk.

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