...your son comes in the house and says,
"Mom, there's a Black Widow spider on the floor of the garage."
and you grab your camera.
Either that, or you're fascinated with all creatures great and small.
I consider myself in the "both" category.
This dying spider gave me the chance to help Quinn put aside some of his fears regarding her and her kind.
First, I flipped her over to show him he was right in his identification skills.
I looked all over the garage for her web to show him what one looks like.
Our garage is a disaster, so I could easily have missed it.
I told him that black widow webs have nothing in common with what folks commonly think of when they think of spider webs. She does not spin a tidy, spoked web like Orb weavers do (Think Charlotte's Web). She makes more of a wandering-about-in-a-small-space sort of web. There is no rhyme or reason to its construction.
I also assured him that BW spiders are very timid. One summer, several years ago, we had a large hatch of them in our garage. It seemed like there was a web in every window and corner. Each time I'd approach a web, she'd skitter away to hide. She had no interest in biting me. I read that the only reason she may bite, is if you accidentally touch her web. She rushes out thinking you are food.
Scientist recently unraveled the DNA structure of the BW's web. Turns out the "drag line" (what they use to make a web vs. what they use to dangle from a rafter) part of the silk is one of the strongest in the arachnid world. They'd like to copy its strength for use by humans.
Regarding this dying spider.
She put up no fight at all when I flipped her over.
However, she was gone when I went out later in the day.
I'm hoping the chickens ate her.