This is a picture of Sentry 2018, or “S18” for short. She’s a spirited young araneus cavaticus that guards my back fence. We just met today.
She inherited this position from her mother, S17, who used to welcome me into her home every time I mowed the lawn last summer. Sweet lady. I can sometimes still feel strands of her web on the back of my neck. Sadly, she retired and moved away sometime late last fall.
Now, as far as I know, S18 is her only living descendant. Probably because she ate all of her siblings.
My wife and I have vastly different opinions about how we should handle creatures like these. I believe they should be treated with kindness and respect and will go out of my way to ensure their well-being, including humanely releasing them back into the wild whenever they mistakenly wander into our house. My wife believes they should all be killed with fire.
We made a pact last summer, though, that she’d grant immunity to our guard spiders as long as 1) they’d stay out of her hair, literally, and 2) they’d continue to thwart backyard crime.
So far, so good.
Originally posted on Medium.