As I was waking up this morning and staring at the ceiling, I saw a brown spot start to move. I watched the spider crawl along, defying gravity with what I assumed were its eight “sticky paws”. Suddenly it wasn’t there, and I thought, “Uh-oh, now it’s on the floor and I have to kill it.” But I didn’t see it on the floor. I looked up and there it appeared on the ceiling again. I finally realized it was dropping down, either by accident or design, on a spinner thread, then crawling back up. It’s apparently building a web. Watched this until s/he went behind a blade of the ceiling fan, then I lost him/her. Now see it some days, not others.
You can tell it’s been a long winter when I’m so hungry for watching wildlife that a spider is a big deal. (I am, happily, not especially unnerved by them.) I started wondering: how the heck do they stay up there, anyway? Went to the web, and found a site for kids under 10 years, called Ask a Grown-up:
“If you could take a really close look at a spider, then you would see that their feet are covered in tiny little triangular hairs. They look a little bit like paddles on the ends of stalks, and they give the spider a much bigger surface area. When the feet make contact with a wall or ceiling, they create a force – a temporary attraction between the bottom of the spider’s foot and whatever surface it’s on (the grown-up name for it is van der Waals forces).”
I see while searching that I’m not the only one curious about this. Here are other questions being looked up:
Can spiders die and still hang on the ceiling?
How do spiders walk on walls/ceilings without falling off?
Why would a spider spend days in the same place on the ceiling?
How do I get the spider off my ceiling?
How do you feel about sharing your home with critters?
What wild life are you looking forward to seeing as we edge (ever so slowly) toward spring?