With the warmth we’ve experienced this October, I have spent many mornings drinking my coffee outside, watching the early sunlight glint off strands of spider silk that have encased my tiny porch overnight. While I’m enchanted by this maze of webs, my next door neighbor is not. I’m quickly called next door to clear a web-free path as she rushes down the stairs and off to work. I feel a bit of guilt as it takes me seconds to paw through a huge orb web that I know took the spider hours to intricately create.
It’s Halloween! This is the time of the year so-called “scary” animals seem to creep their way into our consciousness. Everywhere—from the grocery store to the car wash, even the dentist’s office—seems inundated with gauzy cotton spider webs, vampire bats with over-sized fangs, and neon rubber snakes. Although these decorations can be fun, they also seem to play into human fears of these often misunderstood and beneficial animals.