A Mother’s Love

As I picked up the spent flowers from the Marigolds and Bachelor Buttons, this Nursery Web spider dove into the grass and quickly curled her body around her egg sac protecting it from me and the midday sun.

 Next to her, attached to the ceiling, Wilbur saw a curious object. It was a sort of sac, or cocoon. It was peach-colored and looked as though it were made of cotton candy.”Are you awake, Charlotte?” he said softly.
“Yes,” came the answer.
“What is  that nifty little thing? Did you make it?”
“I did indeed,” replied Charlotte in a weak voice.
“Is it a plaything?”
“Plaything? I should say not. It is my egg sac, my magnum opus.”
“I don’t know what a magnum opus (masterpiece) is,” said Wilbur.
“That’s Latin,” explained Charlotte. “It means ‘great work.” This egg sac is my great work – the finest thing I have ever made.”

“What’s inside it?” asked Wilbur. “Eggs?”
“Five hundred and fourteen of them,” she replied.
“Five hundred and fourteen?” said Wilbur. “You’re kidding.”
“No, I’m not. I counted them. I got started counting so I kept on – just to keep my mind occupied.”

“It’s a perfectly beautiful egg sac,” said Wilbur, feeling as happy as though he had constructed it himself.
“Yes, it is pretty,” replied Charlotte, patting the sac with her two front legs. “Anyway, I can guarantee that it is strong. It’s made out of the toughest material I have. It is also waterproof. The eggs are inside and will be warm and dry.”

 From Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

We can only imagine how many eggs this mother Nursery Web spider is gently carrying in hers.

Instinct or love, her work is never done.


18 thoughts on “A Mother’s Love

  1. Fantastic photos! I love “Charlotte’s Web”, and must have read it four or five times at least! (I have read it with several students too!)

    1. Usually on Thanksgiving Day, an animated version of Charlotte’s Web can be found on various TV stations. I remember watching it for the first time as a teenager and in later years enjoying it with my daughters. They still love the animated version!

  2. These are absolutely fascinating and lovely photos. But then, I like spiders. Your photos show how intricate and interesting they really are.
    Sorry I’ve been away. Just realized that WordPress somehow unfollowed me from your blog. I finally notices that it’s been ages since I had a “new post” email. It’s good to be back and see what you’ve been creating.

      1. As fascinating as they are, I prefer to see them on tv or on a picture. Do they have eye’s under their arms ?
        Funny enough I am not so scared of spiders outside, but when they are in my house I run a mile !

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