For over a year, a spider lived inside our car’s driver-side mirror.
I suppose it might not have been the same spider the entire time. It might have been an entire intergenerational spider-family.
I’m sure that the spider (or spiders) lived there, somewhere in the gears that adjusted the tilt of the mirror, rather than paying an occasional visit, because of their omnipresent web.
It didn’t matter if the previous web had been whipped off by Wellington’s world-famous wind, rained off by Wellington’s prodigious mid-day and all-night storms, or just gradually worn away over the course of a drive on the highway. By the next time I left the house via car, the web would be back in full force.
I brushed the web away the first few times I noticed it, until it dawned on me that the same spider must be deliberately spinning it again and again. At first I was a little bit grossed out. Eek, a spider! Lurking right outside my power window!
Yet, what was that spider going to do to me? The mirror was controlled electronically from inside the car. The web didn’t especially obscure the mirror, and at high speeds it quickly dissolved. I had never actually seen the spider, even when brushing off its web early on in its residence. It had found an apparently cozy little artificial burrow that would protect it from predators. Apparently it was eating decently enough on the bugs that would get tangled in the mirror itself, though I never saw any evidence of those, either.
All I knew was that there was a fresh web on the mirror every time I get in the car.
(I suppose there might have been some amount of spider-leavings going on behind the mirror, but I assumed that between the rain and the occasional electronic adjustment it was effectively self-cleaning. Either that, or we had a very tidy spider. No, I don’t want to consider the alternative. Moving on…)
This grew to be part of my daily landscape in Wellington. I saw my family every day. I ran into the same parents at school pickup. I chatted with the same cashiers every weekend at the supermarket. And, every time I arrived at my driver’s side door I would note that the web had been recast from the last time I saw it.
Then, disaster struck. Not all at once, mind you, but a disastrous chain of events began to unspool. [Read more…] about the spider in the mirror