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An orb weaver in the living roomStephanie Kaza

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This Gardening column is guest-written by Stephanie Kaza, my treasured dharma sister and close colleague of almost 30 years. Guided by her keen intelligence and deft observation, I hope you will be intertwined in the orb weaver’s web. —Wendy Johnson


Flagstaf Fotos

This fall a large orb weaver spider of bulbous abdomen took up residence in the southeastern window of our living room. A summer refugee from the garden, it clearly did not belong there, and yet it settled in as if it would be staying awhile. She built an exquisite web, anchored by three mainstay threads to the windowsill. The concentric circles of gossamer silk were stitched together at regular intervals, forming a flat food net. Every night the spider would come to the middle of the web and hang in place, waiting for prey. When day came, she would climb up to the edge of the frame and tuck in for the day, legs outstretched on the web to receive vibrations from visitors. One early morning before dawn I found the spider carefully repairing the net, one small stitch at a time.

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