So. Sadness: my tiny doorway spider is dead. I’ve written about her far more than I’d imagined I would. I first found her in April and marveled as she produced not one but two egg sacs. Subscribing to the Charlotte’s Web mythology, after her first brood hatched and dispersed I figured she wasn’t long for living. But then she proved that one shouldn’t believe what one reads by producing a second egg sac that hatched on June 11. Just when I thought she was done for a few ways ago I stood in awe as she consumed a big bug that had become ensnared in her web. For all I knew she was protein loading for her next batch of spiderlings.

Then I found her dead this morning. But not just dead — killed. Unless someone can show me that passing arachnids can manage to encase themselves in their own silky threads, then she tangled with an intruder and the ended up entombed in its webbing:

I fancy myself tougher than some, but my heartbreak at her death — something I knew was inevitable — was compounded by her life being so tragically cut short. And after I removed her from her unbecoming suspension and laid her to rest I angrily searched the vicinity for any likely eight-legged suspects.

I found none, but I did find some solace in discovering one of her babies, barely more than a pencil point in size had spun a little web about a foot or so from where its mama had brought her into the world:

Be careful little one. There are dangers about. And while it will be sad these coming days to pass through the front door without seeing your mother, I hope you’ll be able to hang around awhile.