Adirondack Sketches: Sunday, Sept 3, 2000
Hairy Brown Spiders
Hairy brown spiders cling
trembling to the underside
of boards, then drop
to dark water
as we dismantle a dock.
My brawny son,
goofy-haired, so tall,
refusing to rip nails
until he observes:
these spiders can swim!
I don't normally feel a need to fact-check a poem, but in this case I
did and here's what I learned: They're called Dock Spiders, genus
Dolomedes. They are nocturnal. They walk on water. They eat insects
and even small fish. They can go underwater, breathing air captured as
bubbles on their hairy bodies. Cool critters.
Here's a photo from Wikipedia: