'will you step into my parlour?' said the spider to the fly

The Spider and the Fly, by Mary Howitt

“Will you step into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly;
“’Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.

The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many pretty things to show when you are there.”

“O no, no,” said the little fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

Lately I have been noticing with great interest the contents of spider webs. Sometimes the web creator itself perches gracefully in the centre of the web. More often I see its victims - dead, half eaten or still alive and wriggling, trying unsuccessfully to extricate themselves from the deathtrap.

Such drama in the garden, so easily overlooked.

Some clever spiders have built their webs near the lavender, a major attraction for bees. So several bees have met a sticky end.

I despaired of getting a photo of the dragonflies or damselflies flitting around. It was definitely my lack of technique not the fault of the camera, since V. succeeded wonderfully. Luckily for them they seem to be too big to get caught up in the spider webs.


  1. You are game getting out in the heat today!!! I found it terrible watering the veggies this morning and the sun wasn't even up then!
    I can imaging the lavender smelling lovely now though with the sunshine heating up the oils... So beautiful!

  2. Isn't it amazing that I am sitting here at my desk in California and your comment, from far, far away, just came in and made me laugh.

    Yes, we're "addicted" to gardening, but what in the world could be a better addiction.

    Love this posting because I love the drama and the interactions between garden critters.

    Joys to you and yours,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  3. Those spiders are definitely good little hunters and not so good hosts as they eat their guests. Cute opener.

  4. I am strangely fascinated by spiders and their webs - from a very safe distance. I do freak out if a spider is on meeeeee ... sometimes I relocate them in a sheltered spot out of path's way. I let one live in my cherry tomatoes and was always very careful harvesting - he was BIG. He did have a bee in his web.

  5. Dear Catmint, You are so right that the garden is full of drama. So often we overlook these 'thrillers' where creatures balance on the edge of life and death. It is so amazing to read of bees amongst lavender whilst it is wall to wall grey and bitterly cold here in the UK.

  6. Ah, so interesting. I haven't seen a whole lot of spiders around my garden yet. I think all the bugs will increase as the shrubs get bigger and there are more places to hide.
    And catching a picture of a dragonfly flying around has got to be too hard for most of us! Maybe you'll catch one at rest.

  7. Catmint I loved this post. I have not heard that little rhyme for decades and reading it brought back so many memories of the little book my mum used to read to me. The garden really does have lots of drama doesn't it - I love it when the nature programmes get their micro cameras up close following it all.

    Great photos :) you have made me want to go out and capture some drama in my garden lol

  8. I also enjoy the dramas in the garden - small only in scale, they are as life-and-death as our own. I went to a hot springs and, lying there, I caught a glimpse of a spiderweb guywire-strand running from the top of a 100-foot pine tree to - where? I couldn't follow the strand.

    I've never seen dragonflies or damselflies still unless they are right near water - perhaps a photo op there?

  9. Terrific post Catmint! My heart drops sometimes to see bees or butterflies caught in these beautiful but deadly nets. I love you photo of the web with the woman in the distance! Lovely!!

  10. How lovely you are going into spring and we're approaching winter, it's lovely to experience the warmth again if only through a blog. There are so many spiders and insects in our gardens and we often forget that they are there working for us too in some way or another. Christina

  11. Thanks for the comment about the iris. I dug it up yesterday and I seperated it into three plants. Sent one to my Dads wife and have kept two.

    I need to show you some pics of the new place I am buying, lots of privet tpo deal with but so much potnetial!!!

  12. Spiders are very entertaining, aren't they? We had some interesting wolf spiders on our deck over the summer. I read that some eat their webs and rebuild them the next day. Seems like an awful lot of work to have to re-do!

  13. It must be so nice to have the lavender blooming. I hope mine will do as good next year.

  14. So far no appearance of spider web as big as yours in my garden yet. Oh bee will get trapped as well? It will make one sweet dessert he he...

    Talking about camera... I just learnt a new function from my camera after using it for about two years!

  15. A garden is really a death trap in disguise. On the whole, we prefer not to notice!


  16. fascinating to just watch nature have at it!


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