I call October in Astoria the month of the spiders. This precludes the fact that I know little about spiders. But I do know this — in late summer and early fall the maturing spiders come out in showy force, displaying their ability to spin webs, to be graceful and to be a thing of beauty and style.
To me, what is most beautiful is the classic wheel-like webs which seem to be spun overnight. These are some of the webs that can catch, annoy and frighten people as they walk outside or on their porch in the morning. Not only are the webs beautiful, but also are the spiders who spin them.
Maybe there is a common phobia against spiders. It can be scary when you run into a web which has you floundering around, slapping at it and shrieking. But it’s just a web. The spider often runs the other way.
I am told by those more knowledgeable that there are many species of spiders in the U.S., including those established in Oregon, and that spiders are not bound by human territorial lines. Two in Astoria that spin the wheel-like web are the cross orbweaver and the black and yellow garden spider. The cross orbweaver has white spots on the abdomen that form a cross in most species. The female black and yellow garden spider is large and intimidating with its bold pattern. Most spiders here are not poisonous to humans, and pose no threat except being bothersome. They go away after the season. So I say, embrace the spiders and enjoy them and their beauty before the harsh days of winter.