inSects In The City: Episode One

It's a blog, about bugs--it's a BLUG!

Meet Charlotte, a spider the size of a grain of rice--the fat sushi quality kind, not the long grain, wild kind...but I digress. She calls a corner of my bathroom home, which was pretty sweet real estate since the nearby window (like the rest in the apartment) sported large cracks, providing a plethora of winged prey commuting in from the alley just outside. A week later, however, the windows were replaced, leaving me feeling far more secure. But after a few mornings, I noticed the same old desiccated husk of a bug was still in Charlotte’s web from over two weeks ago. Then I felt guilty, thinking, she's going to starve; how can I let this happen?! Just then, a mosquito dared to land on my head, like manna from the heavens. I made like a V-8 commercial, smacked my skull and the bloodsucker fell to the floor. Picking it up gingerly, I dropped it in to Charlotte's web, quite excited, and waited...for big, fat nothing. The nerve! But then I realized: Oh wait, don't spiders favor live prey? So I softly blew on the web, attempting to create an illusion of struggling prey. Voila, Charlotte scampered over and was on that mosquito like Samantha Jones on a young stud after a few cosmopolitans. Here are some scenes of Charlotte, feasting her fangs out:

Charlotte one, mosquito zero... it's pinned, it's down for the count!

Check out her fangs...ouch!

Okay, so remember how I said the apartment was sealed up tighter than a Ziploc bag? Well, someone didn’t match up the yellow and blue stripes very well because on the kitchen counter I found a small centipede-like insect, which I promptly stunned and…well, you know what happened next. But allow me to show you, anyway:

Here she is, feeling before feeding. (Looks a bit more like an odd reflection, given the positioning...)

Aww, a kiss before dying. Actually, she's
 injecting enzymes to dissolve the prey's guts from inside out for easier eating...

About a week ago, I started worrying more about my mental state than Charlotte’s dietary one. I was out at a nice Korean dinner, getting the check, and a fly landed nearby. With Karate Kid-like precision, I stunned it and wrapped it in a napkin to carry home. I paused to ask my dinner partner if this was weird. His longer pause spoke volumes. But I carried it back anyway, and boy was Charlotte happy. Not even requiring the usual trickery, she came over and dug in. Naturally, I have more pictures. I like to think of ours as a symbiotic relationship: I make one hapless fly offer, and she allows me a few cool photos. Seems a pretty fair trade to me… right..?

Here's looking at you prey...

One of my favorite shots ever. (I'll be saying that a lot.)

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