The air is heavy with the smell of sex and death. It is spiders' mating season out in both my front and back garden. Soon after breeding the male of the species will be given its last rites. Staying behind, the female brown house spider will sit quietly for hours on its tangled and sticky web.
A wet summer, a
damp autumn, unusually warm temperatures. All these factors have led to an increase
of eight-legged creatures on my doorstep. And inside the house. Especially in
the bathtub, on the off-white walls, or scurrying from one corner of the
kitchen to another (usually the male), stopping for a second in the middle of
the white floor, thus, becoming the initial Damien Hirst-inspired black dot on a blank canvas, and then legging it again (pun intended).
The courtship is a
beauty, although not for Mr Spider in the long term. It (He?) spins a small web on
which a tiny drop of its semen goes. After carrying it around on two palps the
male spider will eventually find a female partner with a ready-made web (talk
about finding a Sugar Mama!). Cohabitation follows after which Sir will be
surplus to requirements. Outside my kitchen window this scenario is being
played out as the sky darkens and the clouds close ranks. The whole set-up
reminds me of Queen’s Killer Queen: “She's a Killer Queen/Gunpowder, gelatine/Dynamite with a laser beam/Guaranteed
to blow your mind/Anytime”. The scent of sex and death. Somehow the
air feels incredibly heavy.
Photo taken by the blog author