Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Some Pig

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Writing Spider!

Don't freak out!
It's only on your computer screen, not crawling under your shirt to write a message on the nape of your neck!
I've been swatting at imaginary spiders ever since I read Nancy's freaky spider story. Scary!
To make myself feel better, I went outside to pick some of the last of our muscadines. See who I found making herself at home on our vines?

It's Charlotte!
Not really, but I can pretend, can't I?
How I love this book.

Actually EB White's Charlotte wasn't a writing spider at all. She was a Barn Spider.
Yes, I hear you. "Duh, Becky. She lived in a barn."
But people, Barn Spiders don't write!
Oh yeah--I guess that's where the fiction comes in.

When we first found Charlotte Ramsey on our muscadine vines, we asked crotchety old Mr. Wikipedia what he knew about her. Here's what he said:

"In North America, Argiope aurantia is commonly known as the "black and yellow garden spider", or "writing spider," after the mistaken idea web stabilimenta were correspondence."

Oh Mr. Wikipedia, how you crack me up. It was named the writing spider "after the mistaken idea web stabilimenta were correspondence." Correspondence! Ha ha! The spider is writing us a business letter! Isn't that the funniest thing you've ever heard? Or maybe I'm just tired and easily amused at the moment.

No matter how you feel about spiders (I should be honest and admit that I usually smush them,)
you must admit that writing spiders are a wonder!

Those zigzags Charlotte makes--the spirals of silk in the center of her web--actually make it 34% less likely for her to catch insects. (I'm not a walking encyclopedia--that's ole Mr. Wikipedia talking again.) But, the writing also makes her easily visible web much less likely to be destroyed by birds! Or, might I add, by humans! I'm sure not going to be the dummy who walks through it and destroys all her handiwork!

Speaking of handiwork, look at Vanessa Valencia's glittery creation!

Now, I'm not positive about this, as Vanessa's party plans are always a surprise, but I bet that fellow will show up Saturday at her Halloween Party.

Have you ever been to one of Vanessa's blog parties? Believe me when I say that they are out of this world! Please join in the fun and join us. I don't usually post on the weekend, but I'm making a special exception on Saturday to throw a humdinger of my own!
Won't you please stop by? I'll have munchies and crazy decorations and spooky games and treats to give away!
You can even dress up as a spider if you like!
It will be teriffic, radiant, and even humble!
(A gold star for you if you know where that comes from!)

Have a wonder-full Wednesday, everyone!
Love, Becky


TattingChic said...

Sorry, I had to hurry and scroll through that one when I saw the spidie. ewwww. I think I read something about not freaking out, which I didn't do, but still...had to hurry and scroll...thank you for only showing 2 real spiders....ewwww. Please don't ever do that again....ewwww. Spiders are great and useful and all that blahh blah blah, but still...ewwww.

Rosemary said...

I like to watch the spiders in the garden, but if they get into the house, smush!!!
I will be out of town this weekend, so have a fun blog party.

Felicity said...

Those are the words Charlotte wrote in her web about Wilbur, of course!

Liz said...

Ok. Now I'm ready to reread Charlotte's Web. Again. :)

adrienne said...

I've always loved those webs - especially when they are covered with little drops of water. All the friendly spiders in our house are named Buster - don't ask me why.

LW said...

Those pesky things…
We have tiny little spiders that make webs faster than I can vacuum.
My daughter was teasing me because our chandelier self decorated for Halloween..
I was not amused…

However, the writing spider’s web is very interesting,
And I like his deco coloring.


Linda Crispell said...

I can't begin to tell you how much I love your book!!! We moved to France when I was starting the 4th grade, we went to a French speaking Catholic school in Orsay. Your descriptions fit my memories perfectly. Your book is funny and so entertaining, congratulations!
P.S. I am also participating in the Halloween bash, see you on the 18th.

Suzie said...

I dont blog on Saturdays otherwise Id be there with bells on...shoot

CC said...

I hate spiders. I know they are necessary. But not in my house!! But Charlotte's Web is our next book to read at night (after we finish Dr. Doolittle!).

Attic Rat said...

Spiders aren't allowed to live in my house, but if a "good" spider makes his way in, I capture him (sometimes while screaming) and deliver him back outside.

I would LOVE to come to your party!


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I never knew those were writing spiders. Thanks, Rebecca! I see them all the time in our field and prairie and they are HUGE and CREEPY but I'm loath to kill anything that big because I know how many bugs it must eat for me...
In the spirit of Charlotte,
"This blog is Terrific!"

the Amateur Book Blogger said...

Oh, If only we had eight writing legs ... one to write the intro, one for dialogue, another for spelling, one for editing, one for making coffee, one for cleaning the windows, one to cook the kids lunch, one to do read a book we are not writing....

Wait, we ARE writing spiders....

Party sounds fun but on Hallowe'en weekend I am off with six (mummy) girlfriends for a weekend in the Alps ..doing n o t h i n g with a bit of wellness and reading thrown in. Oh, and lots of chat. Boy, are we looking forward to that!

lotusloq said...

Ah! I get a gold star! Yea!

We used to have one of those Writing Spiders in a previous house. They are so big. The webs look cool too.

Your mentioning the muscadines makes me want some. I didn't get any this year. My mama always makes preserves with them and they are devine. They always take me back to being a little barefoot kid running around outside and picking them right off the vines that hung over the fence into our yard.

My mouth is watering again. How come your blog always makes my mouth water?


Alex said...

I love Charlotte's Web...though spiders creep me out! ;) Hope you are well. *hugs*

Randy and Linda said...

Loved Charlotte's Web as a kid growing-up. Elementary school teacher read some of it each day. Wifey loves pidey's too! Remember she's a Biology grad from Furman, and loves spiders, snakes, and almost every living creature. Increasing number of webs going up in front yards these days, up until witching hour ~~~~~HaLLoWeEn~~~~~ ooooooooooooooohhhhhh
Wiggle your nose 3-times like Elizabeth Montgomery - used to watch that show all the time !!!


May Vanderbilt said...

Becky Marie Ramsey! I can't believe you did that to me. Spiders are my biggest fear!

And here I thought this post was going to be about PIGS. My Google Reader seemed to suggest that it was...


Anonymous said...


It's definitely SPIDER SEASON!'


they are the DEFINITION of CREEPY.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Very good, Felicity! A plus!
I hope your Cooking Chemistry is going just as well!

Very fun comments, y'all. Sorry to creep you out, but you've goat to admit that a spider who writes zigzags is some spider!
Louise, my chandelier matches yours.
And Linda, I didn't know your French school history! Wow! I bet we have even more in common. (At least I hope so, given that gorgeous magazine spread on your house. You are one cool lady!)

May, sorry to freak you out. And I like being called Becky Marie, even though it's really Becky Diane. I've been called Becky Lou by my sweetie and Becky Sue by my Granddaddy. Becky Marie sounds almost French! At least the Marie part does! I'll take it!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Lotusloq, aren't you in South Carolina? You're welcome to come clear out the last grapes on our vines!