THE WEB/Sue Hubbell We must have . . . objects themselves to serve as thefactual basis for knowl- edge, thefinal arbiter in matters ofcontested identity or meaning, the "ground truth" that underlies our understanding of the world we inhabit. --Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Acting Associate Director for Science, National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian DURING A STRETCH of Washington months I got to know, tolerably well, a big beautiful spider. She was blotchily orange and tan with darkly banded legs. Each day she spun a fine new round web somewhere in the garage, or occasionally on the back porch. She usually sat off the web, hidden against the ceiling or a protecting beam. Her eyesight was none too good, but when moths and flies blundered into her trap, she could feel the vibration of one of the web's guying threads and she would rush out onto it. She would eat the first of her catch and wrap the rest in silken winding sheets to keep for later. I always tried to avoid tearing her web and save her repair work, but she was a quick and efficient spinner. Jonathan Coddington, Curator of Spiders at the Smithsonian's Natural History
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1998
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