Saturday, August 28, 2010

Spiders and Wasps: Champaign 1994

I was thinking about when we lived in the little house on Miller Street and I was at the window (probably washing dishes--we had no dishwasher) in the little kitchen and this was when the kids were little and we had a little insular world. Anyway, what I was recalling was there were two small spiders (shall I call them little?) living in opposite corners of the outdoor kitchen window sill. They weren't much bigger than a sunflower seed but they had built their respective webs in the corners and went about their respective business of catching little bugs while respecting each other's territory.
But the reason I recall it is because as I stood there washing the dishes--probably the kids bottles and sippy cups and such--a big wasp came flying to the window. I watched as the wasp went to one of the spider's webs and plucked it with its legs. That spider came up a bit and looked and then retreated. The wasp went to the other spider's web--the right-hand side spider--and plucked its web and this spider came charging out to see what he had caught. Well. he had not caught anything and the wasp proceeded to grab the spider and sting it and eat it.
And who says Nature is not a nasty place?
I also recall seeing a big blackbird, who was feeding in the back lawn, attack a small sparrow who was also feeding there. I had never seen a fellow bird attack another but this blackbird (not a crow or raven, mind you) jumped on the sparrow, held it down and deliberately pecked at its head until the sparrow was dead. The blackbird them flew away, leaving the sparrow's body in the grass.
Yes, sweet sweet Nature.

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