The retro British way of life in the Fenland was a dreamy one today. We took our nutty little dog for a run along the bridle path between the two rivers. These rivers are separated by the bridle path and a dyke. At scattered intervals along the scarps of the dyke are bird hides that look out over the Fens towards the far-off spire of Ely Cathedral.
After a short stroll, we decided to go up into one of the bird hides. We saw a Marsh Harrier and some kestrels. Lots of waterfowl too, but they don’t interest me like the raptors. I suppose I like the predators better.
It was while looking over the Fens that I noticed a different type of predator whizz down the open window frame in front of me. It was a spider nimbly sliding down his web to secure a fly that was caught within the web strands. It was savage. Nature with all it raw and morbid fascination. I had no feelings for the fly. None for the spider come to that, but I was fascinated by the skill with which the tiny creature moved.
It led me to think of instinct. The gene programme that the spider must have within its biological makeup. These tiny creatures don’t have the capacity to learn as we do, yet they know how to spin webs and catch food. They are born with the knowledge. We must learn as we go through life. Yet these tiny creatures don't have the compacity to learn or retain memories as we do. Their construction instincts, however, make us look primitive.
I wonder if they carry some inert memory of spider collectiveness. I mean deceased spiders knowledge implanted within. It sounds silly, I know, but I can’t help but marvel at the thought. These tiny little creatures know their ways by inert memory or instinct. It would be like us being born with the knowledge of an Oxford University degree in building. We would know such things instantly.
Once the fly was packaged with further webbing, the spider dragged the wretched creature up to the top of the window frame. Into the corner. No doubt marinated with venom for a later time.