Caution: Objects In The Mirror May Appear Larger Than Life
This summer, as the above photo attests, is no exception. The way these mirrors are designed seems to be an ideal habitat for certain types of small (thank goodness) spiders. Obviously, there is the mirror itself, but more appealing is the plastic housing that surrounds it. For the busy arachnid on the go, nothing beats an aerodynamic, virtually unbreakable shelter for when the weather forecast or highway speeds become threatening.
There must be millions of these trucks (and their mirrors) on the road, so I figured that I can't possibly be the only one who has observed this phenomena. True enough, a quick search on Google finds truck owners who have also found spiders in their mirrors - and some seem none too pleased about it.
As for myself, I don't mind having a little (literally) company as I make my rounds. I have noticed that sometimes, first thing in the morning, the resident spider will have spun a little web the night before. Here's a shot from July of 2008, six years ago, almost to the day. Another year, another truck, another spider:
The spider will smartly construct it's web within the bounds of the plastic housing and wait for its prey to come along. I'm assuming that this species of spider is comfortable in such a highly engineered setting, and is successful in getting regular meals. This is exciting, because for all I know I could be witnessing a tiny evolutionary step forward in the spider kingdom. Will such incremental behavioral adaptations favor the savvy spider that has learned to hitch it's wagon (so to speak) to one of the millions of cars that are now rolling around the Earth?
Or maybe not. There have been times where the spider will inexplicably not run for cover after the opening and/or the closing of the door. At times like this I have observed the spider, hanging on tight, as the web flaps in the wind as I drive down the road. Eventually, I assume, at the first opportunity he or she dizzily retreats for cover, or falls off along the way. I'm ashamed to admit that I don't keep track of their comings and goings nearly as closely as I could.
Ashamed, because I'm reminded again that there are extraordinarily famous tales about spiders out there, and maybe I (and my truck) need to slow down, and get to know our tiny summertime traveler a little better. For the time being, E.B. White's legacy is safe.