American readers are beginning to appreciate the originality and charm of J. H. Fabre, the erudite scientist who writes like an essayist, and whom Maeterlinck calls "one of the glories of the civilized world... one of the most profound admirations of my life." (Translated by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos.)
. It is at the elbow of this tunnel that the Tarantula posts herself as a vigilant sentry and does not for a moment lose sight of the door of her dwelling; it was there that, at the period when I was hunting her, I used to see those eyes gleaming like diamonds, bright as a cat's eyes in the dark.
'The outer orifice of the Tarantula's burrow is usually surmounted by a shaft constructed throughout by herself. It is a genuine work of architecture, standing as much as an inch above the ground and sometimes two inches in diameter, so that it is wider than the burrow itself. This last circumstance, which seems to have been calculated by the industrious Spider, lends itself admirably to the necessary extension of the legs at the moment when the prey is to be seized. The shaft is composed mainly of bits of dry wood joined by a little clay and so artistically laid, one above the other, that they form the scaffolding of a straight column, the inside of which is a hollow cylinder. The solidity of this tubular bui
This was a charming book. Now he is closely examining the life of a European spider, not one we have here in North America, yet I not only learned things about spiders, but also about close observation. It actually is a fun read, and this from a woman who is rather frightened of spiders.
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