Moose Country Minute – July 14 2018

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I want you to know—right off the top—that I wasn’t smoking the wacky-tobaccy, but I spent two hours the other evening mesmerized by a spider.

I first noticed him as he rappelled down from the underside of the balcony above our apartment, 10 floors up, and came to rest on our railing.

The slender silk from the web he spun could be seen clearly as the sun began to set, and so I was able to watch him construct the trap he was setting for his dinner.

It was utterly fascinating, and fine entertainment at the end of a long day hauling words out of my brain for the next day’s newspaper column.

As dusk set in, small flying insects attracted to the light on the balcony found themselves entwined in the spider’s web.

As they squirmed to get away, the spider slid from his hidey-hole in the balcony above, slithered down the intricate web he created, and gobbled down this prey in the matter of a second or two.

Then he would fiddle with his web, and go back into hiding, watching for the second course of his dinner to find itself in the same predicament as course No. 1.

I don’t know who many courses he that evening had, but there were a least a dozen tiny mites that had been lured into his trap. The spider was a craftsman.

He was a good-sized spider, too, testimony to his hunting and survival skills.

Toads, lizards and monkeys are its main predators, or so says Wiki, , but you are not likely to see a toad or a lizard or a monkey making it way to the 10th floor balcony of an Ottawa

Smart spider.