Happenstance anticipated my return from work, facilitating discovery of bathroom and bedroom spiders within moments of each other. Bathroom spider came first, announcing herself with curtsied flare through a tiny vent on the window frame. An unmistakable presence, expressed in polite display of her polished black belly. “Good evening spider” made it official – Spring had arrived. Mindful of missed signals or misinterpretation, bedroom spider stood in brazen watch beneath the sill. Not to be upstaged by bathroom spider, bedroom spider presented her lustrous belly with measures of respectful confidence. “Lovely to see you again” solidified Spring’s early return.
Steatoda Grossa (False Black Widow) moved in a few years ago. Skeptical at first, unclear over motive, manners or intent, we eyed each other with uneasy caution. Awed by their work ethic, meticulous awareness of spacial boundaries and indifference towards exploration – we made peace. A declaration stipulating acceptance based on one condition – land speculation is out of the question, build comfortable homes and stay put. A workable truce, broken once last summer by a second cheeky bedroom spider who went rogue, never to be seen again.
Be it bathroom, bedroom, kitchen or laundry room spider – as if by command, they vanish at first signs of frost, retreating to mysterious realms known only to winter spiders. Oblivion engulfs Steatoda Grossa. Noticeably absent precedes nary a thought, all but forgotten until stirrings of imminent spring mark their return. Today was that day.
Gentle rain forest winter spared Vancouver tongues uttering arctic out-flows, polar vortex, deep freeze, windchill, or snowfall warning. Despite bold daffodils towering six inches above rain soaked soil, blooming crocus and snowdrop, rosy plum blossoms tossing caution to the wind – February’s winter fury remained fathomable.
Forget groundhog shadows or Farmer Almanacs, dismiss calendars and weather channel designations – when spiders reclaim familiar pasture in my home, spring has officially declared itself.