Spider Season

October 13th, 2004  |  Published in Uncategorized

Al and I have a tradition of treating spiders more like house guests than invaders when they a.) stay out of the bedroom and b.) stay where we can keep an eye on them. Man Servant Hecubus lived with us in Charlottesville for a year, handling the occasional fly before he wandered off, and we didn’t mind him.

Portland evidently has a spider season that starts in autumn as the rain begins. Since we have a few big bushes in front of the house, we have several spiders sharing our front yard with us each year. The only time they’re really a problem is when they weave a web from the bushes to the tree, since that crosses the path of our front steps. We usually manage to blunder into the web before it gets very far, so it’s not a big problem.

I’ve been trying to get a picture of one of them for the past few days, and I was lucky to look out the window this morning and note that she was in one of the webs closest to the front porch and catching the morning light, so I only had to stand up on the knee-high wall and lean out a little to shoot her. Looks like she was getting ready to enjoy breakfast.

I’m not sure what kind of spider she is. An identification chart I found indicates that she might be a “garden orb weaving spider,” but she’s colored a little differently, the page is from Australia, and I understand that there are tens of thousands of different spiders with very specific regional ranges. I’m guessing “garden orb weaving spider” is even more generic among spiders than “pointer” is among dogs.

Maybe the lazy web will identify her before I get around to visiting the library for a spider identification guide.


Al and I spent some time talking a few nights ago, and it looks like we’ll probably only have one more spider season in Oregon. Barring a change of heart or an unforeseen opportunity, we’ve decided to start thinking like we’ll be moving to Indiana at some point in the next 18-20 months.

It’s all pretty open-ended right now. The big issue for us is being close to family, and Indiana would put us a day’s drive from Virginia and Northern Michigan, with the added benefit of being very close to a lot of friends. Indianapolis and Bloomington are where we’re thinking, with an edge toward Bloomington.

I’m glad we made the decision. We took two years from our first decision to move from Charlottesville to Portland, which meant that when we got into the last five or six months of preparation we were already in the right mindset and ready to go. It was probably the smoothest move I’ve ever made. If we hadn’t been driving a U-Haul with a car in tow, in would have felt more like a leisurely road trip.

So it’s a long countdown, but it has definitely started.

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