“In a cowslip’s bell I lie…”

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This tiny crab spider has been zoomed to giant size in the photo. I guess, in real time, it was about 3 millimetres across, less than a quarter of an inch. And still it waved its little front legs at me (most crab-like in posture) when I tried to take its portrait. Next it went into hiding under the flower, and when I pursued it down the stem it flung itself at me and then disappeared into the flower bed. It was most unnerving to find oneself having ‘a relationship’ (albeit a fractious one) with such a teeny-weeny little arachnid; the suggestion of ‘intelligence’ even.

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As you can see in the next photo, the flowers of this cultivated cowslip are anyway quite small. Feisty little critter, the crab spider.

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The quotation comes from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, Aerial’s song, a jolly little air:

Where the bee sucks, there suck I,
In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry;
On the bat’s back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

Bright Square #16

24 thoughts on ““In a cowslip’s bell I lie…”

  1. One of my favourite spider species, but unfortunately somewhat scare this season.
    I’ve only ever seen this colouration once, so unless they are common at your spot this is a nice find.

    1. I have spotted them in other parts of the garden, usually later in the year, and rather larger, in among purplish-pink plants, and sporting pinkish stripes to match.

  2. How lovely to focus on such a tiny creature and bring him to life for us like this! And with a beautiful, and apt, quotation to go with the photos too 🙂

  3. Well-spotted, Tish, and at that size, quite cute Now cowslips is a much nicer sounding name than whatever I commented on last time. Can’t remember what it was but rather unappealing. 🙂 Not that a cowslipping would be good, but it just sounds better. Thanks for keeping track of this spider for so long and sharing the adventure, although it probably wasn’t thrilled having a giant after it.

    janet

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