underleaf                    orb weaver                    rests                    for evening

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under leaf out of sun
orbweaver
turned on its horizon

Araneus niveus (no common name)
on ruby spice summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)

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Daily, on the perimeter of nearby homes, exquisite female figures of spined micrathena
spin their silken geometry for prey–

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everywhere inviting closer inspection and
further exploration for their stunning suspension in the creekside air.

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September sun rising on the web,

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a nearby male sets in shade,

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and silk spun round a Rose of Sharon leaf

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folds a female home.

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Surely a spider’s beauty includes its ability to stay hidden in plain sight.

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A venusta orchard spider, for example, often shows the taller world an intricately patterned bottom side that blends well to the background of its shrub-spun web.

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And those of us who would glimpse a distinctly different side of the spider
must take a knee before it …

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decreasing, so to speak, to witness its increase.

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The vision, then, is ours.

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For, seen or not, the spider carries on in its usual way — spidering.

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And we decide, based on how we go about seeing, how to be ourselves.

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This, I believe, is Hentz’s orbweaver, neoscona crucifera.

Every evening we try to avoid walking through the artisan hunter’s impressive new wheel-like web.

It spans the doorway from awning to fence and, by morning, is tattered by nocturnal hunting success.

Then, in light of day, the spider generally tucks away in the shelter of a corner window edge.

Here it ventures forth to snag and wrap a stink bug snack for later.

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