• Gerry

Charlotte and Squeek

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

Charlotte is my garden spider.  She is a beauty.  Big as a hens egg, black with an iridescent yellow  markings on her back.  All summer she was busy working to keep the garden free of Japanese beetles - and doing a heck of a job.  Her web was a thing to behold.  Her species is native to North Carolina and is referred to as just a plain old garden spider.  She is also called a Writing spider because of the delicate furls she puts in her weave. (You can see some of that in this picture.) But here we called her Charlotte. After the dogs had their eggs, and treats, it was time to check the humming bird feeders.  All was well.  Until one of the kids (our dogs!) wanted to go outside again - about a half hour later.  That's when we saw the tragedy.

There wrapped in Charlotte's weaving was Squeak, our littlest hummer.  Who would have guessed this could have happened.  I suppose I should have seen it coming.  The hummers, excellent flyers as they are, just don't look around when they go tearing through the air chasing each other away. Well, you sure can't call 911 for a humming bird. We did everything we could to get her free.  She was limp and unresponsive.  No eye movement.  Not a flutter.  She looked like a little mummy.  I imagine she fought very hard to free herself, but just made the situation worse.

Well, once we got her out, we tried to remove the web.  Not so easy.  She had to have food, so we held the feeder up to her so she could drink.  Nothing for a minute or two, and then I felt the little body thrumming.  Her tiny little tongue came out and she started to drink.  She was so weak, and she could not hold her head up.  We continued to feed, and in between tried to untangle the sticky web.  I feared we would do more damage to her feathers than we intended.  I got on the web (pardon the pun!) and googled how do you clean spider webs of a bird? - Lo and behold, there was an article that directed how to take the web off an insect - I'll take it!  So with clear water, I dripped tiny little drops of water on the webs, gently petting the webs free...and they just dissolved.  She continued to drink, and with the wetness on her feathers, she began to flutter, and then Squeak started squeaking! Squeak continued to take the nectar for another minute, shook herself out, and flew on her own into the crepe myrtle bush.  From there she flew to the maple, and then over the top of the house.

Since then, we have been watching for her.  She finally showed up with the other three high flyers, bobbing and weaving in and out of the roses.

A happy ending for  Squeak.  Not so much for Charlotte.

Sometimes its hard to know whats right.

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