What a Spider Can Teach You

jumping spider

It’s a rainy day, and I feel damp in my soul. I wanted to post something; I have plenty of photos to choose from, and that was my problem. I finally told myself, “Just pick one.” So I happened to be at this one, and here it is for you, dear reader, to view and perhaps ponder a bit.

Regarding the title, I guess that depends on who you are, but there is always something to learn from the natural world. Spiders are perhaps a special case, because of their eight legs and (usually) eight eyes: they inspire fear and where we find fear, there is likely something to learn about ourselves. I’m not too afraid of them though; they are usually teaching me about light diffusion or angles. Or the limits of my patience. Jumping spiders are particularly interesting because of their big eyes. They have some of the better vision among arthropods because of those special eyes. It is always interesting to see them rear up on their back legs and raise their cephalothorax (i.e. the front half of their body; you might call it the “head”), as they consider the camera or the person. And they regard the object of their vision. I am not sure why sometimes they decide to jump and others they do not. It seems a decision based on curiosity, but perhaps it is a simple, primal imperative. What energy runs through a spider, I wonder. I watch them consider enormous things. I wonder, what they might know; I wonder, I wonder.

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