Ari, the Spider

The spider, to whom we have given the name Ari (short for Ariadne or ‘Arry – depending on the spider’s gender) ,first appeared on January 10th. We have often had spiders visit us before but Ari is so far the largest. If she is still with us when the warmer weather comes, I shall have to think about catching her and putting her outside where she stands a better chance of fending for herself. For now though, we are leaving her to come and go as she pleases.

I have gathered all the posts about Ari into this compendium version and will add any future posts about her.

Meet Ari

January 1oth, 2021

I may have mentioned (though, if so, I cannot find where) that we recently had a little visitor. After an unexplained absence, which we thought might be permanent, said visitor has made a triumphant return.

Tigger named this small person Ari, short for Ariadne, which could also be construed as ‘Arry, short for Harold, if her/his gender turns out to be male.

I’m sure you are now hoping for a photo of Ari so, without more ado, here is one we prepared earlier.

Ari (or ‘Arry)
Ari (or ‘Arry)
Photo by Tigger

This is a characteristic pose adopted by Ari (as I shall call her/him), which Tigger calls her “pilates position”. She remains still for long periods and then turns up, still between wall and ceiling, but further along.

I imagine that winter is a hard time for spiders, given that there are not many insects about, and having somewhere warm to stay must be very appealing.

At full stretch (in the “pilates position”), I estimate that Ari is about 2 inches long. One informant, more knowledgeable than we, has tentatively identified her species as “common house spider” but I protest that there is nothing “common” about our Ari!

...and relax
…and relax

When we returned from shopping, Ari had adopted a more relaxed pose.

As I write this, Ari has been for a little walk – all of 18 inches – but had stopped once more, this time in the relaxed, “spider-normal” position.

I will update “Spider News”, if there is anything to report. The arachnophobes among you (who won’t have read this far, anyway, should avoid posts with “spider” in the title).

Spider Ari goes for a stroll

January 10th, 2021

Ari goes for a stroll
Video by Tigger

Spider Ari goes AWOL

Jaanuary 11th. 2021

Look, no Ari!
Look, no Ari!

When we emerged this morning from a well earned rest (lockdown is so wearing!), we naturally looked for Ari to bid her good day. All in vain, for no Ari was there to be seen.

Ari has apparently gone walkabout, we know not where. Maybe she has gone in search of food or fancies a change of scene.

Perhaps, having satisfied whatever needs have provoked her departure, she will return here as she did before. I hope so and will be sure to let you know if she does.

Spider Ari comes home

January 13th, 2021

Ari is back
Ari is back
Photo by Tigger

It was Tigger, when she came home just now, who spotted Ari in her familiar corner. I’m ashamed to say I had not thought to look. There she is, though, in her usual “Pilates” pose.

Where has she been for the last few days? She’s not saying, of course. Perhaps she popped out to look for lunch.

Tigger took this photo with flash and you can perhaps see what looks like a bright spot: that’s Ari’s eye reflecting the flash!

If you wonder why the ceiling is so stained, that’s the result of the flooding to which our upstairs neighbour treated us just before Christmas. (See Water from the ceiling, again.)

I don’t suppose Ari minds that, though, and, fortunately, neither do we, at least not too much. This place is already so full of “character” that a little more hardly matters!

Spider Ari – still around

January 17th, 2021

First thing this morning, as I was preparing my breakfast, I looked around the room, visually seeking a familiar form, but nothing caught my gaze: our house guest, Ari the Spider, was nowhere to be seen.

Imagine my amused surprise, then, when Tigger emerged and said “Oh, look!”

Ari reappears
Ari reappears
Photo by Tigger

I looked and on the wall, virtually above my head, was Ari! Where she had been and how she had reappeared so suddenly seemed mysterious.

Our rooms have high ceilings and there’s not much light at the top so that photographing a small creature in the shadows presents difficulties. It seemed only reasonable to use flash as we did on a previous occasion. However, both then and this time, Ari’s reaction suggests that the flash incommodes her. We will therefore refrain from using it in future.

Ari is still here - for now
Ari is still here – for now

Our method of choice now is to use the torch app on our phones to provide enough illumination for the photo. That’s how I took the photo above. The light is far less intense than that of the flash and Ari doesn’t seem to mind it.

In the time interval between the two photos, we had been out to do our shopping and so I was a little surprised on our return to find Ari much where we had left her. However, she did start to move and in a generally downwards direction. By the time I had written this, she had disappeared again.

This, then, provides a clue to where she spends her periods of invisibility: behind the books on the bookshelves! I could, of course, move the books and take a look but I really don’t want to disturb her if she believes she has found a safe place to wait out the winter. I am happy to see her when she puts in an appearance and to leave her in peace in between.

Note: In my original post I said I would always include the word “spider” in the title of posts about Ari so that arachnophobes can skip them if they wish.

Spider Ari reappears

January 30th, 2021

This morning as we were having breakfast, Tigger spotted a familiar figure in a corner of the ceiling: Ari has reappeared!

Ari reappears
Ari reappears

It’s almost two weeks since Ari (short for Ariadne or, alternatively ‘Arry – we don’t know his/her gender) was last seen. We began to think she had moved on but, no, here she is, in her characteristic “Pilates” pose.

Knowing that the flash disturbs her, we took one of our “cooperative photos”: I illuminated the scene with my iPhone’s flashlight function while Tigger took the photo. Ari seems to accept the flashlight but even so, we use it sparingly.

This is my sixth post about Ari and so I think I will collect all of the posts together in a compendium version, adding any future Ari posts to it. When I do, I will post the link here.

Spider Ari still with us

January 31st, 2021

This morning, I looked in the corner where we had found her yesterday but Ari was not there. I visually the line between wall and ceiling to the next corner, our “flood corner” deluged by our upstairs neighbour. This is also a favoured haunt of Ari.

Ari in the corner
Ari in the corner

Yes! There she is. Owing to the building’s architectural peculiarities, this corner is curved, not square. Perhaps she likes that feature.

To take the photo, I needed to illuminate the area but without using flash as Ari’s reactions show that she doesn’t like it.

Yesterday, I tried using the iPhone’s torch function with the camera but found that if I switched on the torch and then opened the camera, the torch closed down. This time I tried opening the camera first and then the torch. This worked and I was able to take the above photo. But, guess what: since I did that, neither of us has managed to run the torch and the camera at the same time! Making it work must have been some sort of fluke.

Back to “cooperative photos” (see Spider Ari reappears)!

Spider Ari siappearing

February 3rd, 2021

After spending the day with us on her last visit (see Spider Ari still with us), Ari had disappeared again completely by the next day.

Then today, just as she was leaving en route for the office, Tigger spotted something in a corner of the room. Ari was back!

Ari disappearing

Ari disappearing

Having seen Tigger to the door, I just had time to snatch this photo of Ari as she disappeared behind a shelf of books. There was no time to find a way to illuminate the scene (we don’t use flash because Ari seems not to like it). To compensate, I have lightened the photo to some extent.

This is the same place where I saw Ari disappear after a previous visit, leading me to suspect that this is where she stays when not visible to us. I could take a look, of course, but will not do so because I think that would disturb Ari and provoke her to move elsewhere.

Spider Ari moves fast – sometimes

Fbruary 4th, 2021

Now you see her, now you don’t: that’s Ari’s motto!

Yesterday morning, Ari appeared in what I will for convenience call the NE (north-east) corner of the room but before we could photograph her, she descended rapidly behind the books on the top shelf nearby. She was invisible fir the rest of the day.

This morning she graced us with her presence, again in the NE corner.


Here’s a slightly enlarged version of the above:


I went for my walk, as described in my previous post, and, on my return looked for our peripatetic Ari. Not in the NE corner…


With my eyes, I followed the join between wall and ceiling, as this seems to constitute Ari’s running track. Yes! There she is, in the SE corner.

How long did it take her to come this far? Not long, probably, as she is a quick mover when she wants to be. I only regret I wasn’t there to see her moving.

She has remained perfectly still now for about four hours. When will she move again and where will she go?

Spider Ari returns

February 24th, 2021

The last time we saw Ari was on February 4th (see Spider Ari moves fast – sometimes). Since then, though we regularly scanned the walls, there were no more sightings. I began to think that she had moved to fresh pastures or… but I didn’t like to dwell on more morbid speculations.

This morning, Tigger suddenly emerged excitedly from the bedroom. She had news: Ari was in the bedroom!

I went to take a look and there she was, in a corner high up near the ceiling. Corners on the line between wall and ceiling seem to be her preferred resting places.

Our ceilings are quite high and photos taken by me standing on the floor showed a tiny image which was fuzzy when enlarged. So… I had recourse to a stepladder, risking life and limb to bring you the latest picture!

Ari in her “pilates” pose
Ari in her “pilates” pose

As you see, she was resting in her characteristic “pilates” pose with legs (all eight of them) stretched out before and behind her.

How Ari came to this location is rather a mystery. Unless she has discovered a secret passage, she must have negotiated two doorways and the hallway. How and when she performed this trek, I do not know. Or why. But she did so and there she is until she decides to make another move.

See also the composite version of the adventures of Ari: Ari, the spider.

Spider Ari and the ruler

Fberuary 24th, 2021

Just to give some idea of Ari’s dimensions, here is a photo, taken by Tigger, showing Ari near a ruler.

Ari and a ruler
Ari and a ruler
Photo by Tigger

At the time of the photo, Ari had descended somewhat from her usual level near the ceiling and to a position nearer the bedroom door. Is she planning to move somewhere else? Time will tell.

By late evening, Ari had disappeared again, destination unknown…

See also Ari, the spider.