Sometimes we can find the most beautiful patterns in nature, you find symmetry, made by insects and bugs, nature it is beautiful, much like a hand crocheted doilies made by our grandparents, and their grandparents. Skills that are not taught anymore. Crafts that have been taken over by machines. Traditions and fans family values story telling things that should be written down and told to kids and grandkids and Histories to be preserved as well as traditions, values and ethics, hugs, storytelling and love of family cultures and traditions.
Webs in the garden
Folklore of the Writing Spider
When I was growing up, there were certain animals and bugs that we were allowed to kill. Venomous snakes and spiders were never well loved. And many spiders bit the dust just because they were “creepy” or looked too much like a venomous spider.
One spider that was fiercely protected though was this yellow and black garden spider. KNown properly by the name of Argiope, the elderly ladies in my life called them Writing Spiders, Garden Spiders, or Name Spiders.
If you don’t like spiders, then this one is definitely a yucky looking specimen to have around. It is large…sometimes seven inches across! It builds enormous webs that you don’t want to walk into. But it also has magical powers. And in the Ouachita Mountains…you respect things with magical powers.
From a very young age, my grandmother taught us that you NEVER kill or even bother a writing spider. If you tear down it’s web, or try to kill it…it will rebuild the next day. And it will write your name in it’s web. When that happens…you are doomed to die.
If you kill it, then you have doomed yourself to bad luck. The worst kind of bad luck, like disease, grief and yes…even death. That is how powerful the magic of this spider is. Some other legends say that if the spiders hear you speak the name of a love one, or if they count a child’s teeth, they will write those names in their webs too.
As a tribute to all the elderly people in my life who left these spiders looming in their gardens, and taught me to respect the power of Nature, here is a photo of my spider. She has been hanging on my porch for weeks, and everyone is forbidden to bother her web