Under the towering halogen lights of
An Atlantic fishing trawler, a Writing
Spider patiently guarded her shining
Web. An Argiope aurantia, her sleek
Body was brilliant black and yellow
With delicate, yet adept, long-
Segmented, banded legs.
A masterpiece of engineering, her
Web measured two feet in diameter,
Fastened at a dozen points to the
Metal framework of the rig. Proud of
Her intricately woven web, the silver-
Faced seamstress signed her handi-
Craft with an emboldened zigzag
That extended along the center of
Her gossamer domain.
For a few moments, I studied her
Actions as an errant moth, attracted
To the streaming lights, inadvertently
Fluttered into her in sticky filaments.
Deadly efficient at subduing insect
Trespassers, she quickly pounced,
Imparting a toxic bite and aptly spun
Them into an encapsulating cocoon.
I realized that Ms. Argiope and I were
Much alike, not that I gave my quarry
A toxic bite, but that we used webs of
Different types to catch our unwary
Prey. Instead of delicate silken threads
My web was a synthetic green mesh
Trawl net, decorated with flowing
Chafing gear. A hundred feet in length,
It opened along the ocean bottom,
Capturing unsuspecting fish.
With a revving of diesel engines,
The trawler left the dock. A sudden
Gust of wind, dismantled half her
Work, causing her to scurry into a
Dark, secluded crevice, where we
Spent a week in heaving waves and
Spray. Protected from the elements,
She observed my trade as a trawling
Spider, deploying my long green web
Under overhead halogen lights that
Transformed pitch-dark ocean nights
Into day, and capturing tons of
Flopping fish, cocooning them in ice.
A comparison between the web of a Writing Spider found dockside and the trawl net of an open-ocean fishing trawler.