The weather grows colder, and Freud grows older.
It’s odd, being so hyper-aware that he* will die soon and how briefly this spider has been in my life. This spider just living his life, completely unaware of the girl that watches him on the other side of the glass, who chuckles over him with her new friends, and feels a little less alone in a big new place all by herself.
Freud now spends most of his time hidden up in the eaves of the window, clinging away from the wind that blows hard enough to pull my window open further and carries a chill that makes the pigeons puff up their feathers into Elizabethan ruffs the color of dishwater.
Due to his negligence his beautiful web, genius in its construction, began to degrade. It took on a fuzzy quality not unlike the artificial webbing you buy at the store and spread all over your house at this time of year. I remember helping my mom spread out the synthetic fibers across the rough brick of our front porch, even when I was little at our old house. I tried to pull it apart to get the most spider-webbish look, guesstimating the point when the threads would snap into two pieces rather than one.
Today Freud moved slowly out onto his web, unsure of his footing and unsteady. The old gent seemed unbalanced, using only his forelegs to move himself around. The gusty wind unsettled him, sending him scurrying up to his notch in the brick as the web bowed and swayed like a ship tossed on stormy seas. But Freud is a clever and bold spider, as his battle against the wasp proved, and he set about making improvements to his web. He worked his way up and down the threads, adding a few here and there, tying them off before changing angle. Each section strengthened the fuzziest portions of the web, battening them down to steady it against the wind. Several times he got close enough to the window opening to make me shut the window (I still would rather not meet Freud face to face).
For those interested, here is a little video of Freud repairing his web (I feel like David Attenborough). Note how he shoots his webbing out of spinnerete (I assume?) to either begin or end a thread. Apparently, spiders spinneretes have many spigots; each spider has at least six different silks. Also, did you know that spiders move their limbs through hydraulic pressure rather than muscles?**
*yes, I’m aware Freud is more likely than not female. Let me live in ignorance, ok?
** thanks, wikipedia!