Saturday, July 20, 2019
Home News Arachnid academics for 10th Virginia Yerxa celebration 

Arachnid academics for 10th Virginia Yerxa celebration 

The Colusa Library hosted their first Science Cafe on April 23. Making the event even more red-letter, it commenced the annual Virginia Yerxa Community Read. This year’s book was E.B. White’s, “Charlotte’s Web.” 

Jason Bond, an entomologist at UC Davis, joined with the Master Gardner’s to provide information about spiders.

Bond related his lecture to the tale of “Charlotte’s Web,” a favorite of adults and children. The story is about an unlikely friendship between a spider and pig, who is saved from slaughter, by messages woven into spiderwebs.   

E. B. White, the author, had studied and poured a lot of facts into Charlotte. 

“These spiders are often refereed to as ‘writing spiders’ and where this comes from is, while they don’t really spell things out in their webs, they do these silken ornamentations in their webs,” Bond explained. “For decades, one of the biggest questions in Arachnology is, what are these things all about? Why would a spider put those in the web?” 

This is a phenomenon scientists are still seeking to explain. 

As people from this agricultural county can attest, insects are just part of life. Bond relayed a recent study: “The world population (of spiders) is estimated in weight at about 29 million tons, which is about the same as 478 Titanics. They estimate that spiders are eating somewhere in the neighborhood of 400-800 million tons of insect biomass every year.”

By the end of the speaking engagement, anxieties were squashed by fascination. 

“Spiders are one of the few animal groups that are almost exclusively predatory. Bond said he likes to make the point that spiders who live by attacking and killing “are killing a bunch of dull-witted insects.” 

Considering that spiders are helpful, they might make the perfect roommate. 

“A spider is always watching you,” said Bond, who added according to a recent study of many homes, 100 percent of the homes sampled had spiders in them; 68 percent of the bathrooms had a spider in them, and 75 percent of the bedrooms had a spider in them, and the rest of the rooms had spiders peppered throughout them. 

“Of course if you have spiders in your home, it’s because you have insects in your home,” he said, making Bond’s closing comment that a “spider is always watching you” a little more unsettling. ■

Recent News

Pool mural an interpretation of home

The Colusa community pool is getting a rejuvenation, a culmination of what students think represents Colusa County.  Middleschool art teacher Ross Roadruck spent three days...

Community welcomes new pastor

A new resident to Colusa County has been filling the position of pastor for those who attend the Methodist churches in Williams and Arbuckle.  Pastor Tom...

Local Government

Williams to allow wider front yard driveways

The Williams City Council introduced an ordinance last month that could allow property owners to legally widen their residential front yard driveways. The council acted...

Williams approves two-year positive budget 

The Williams City Council approved a preliminary operating budget last month that stretches two years and does not dip into reserves like other cities...

Public & Legal Notices

City of Williams Public Notice: 2020 Draft Housing Element Update

CITY OF WILLIAMS PUBLIC NOTICE 2020 DRAFT HOUSING ELEMENT UPDATE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City of Williams is in the process of preparing an update...

Petition to Administer Estate of Alton B. Kirkland, Sr.

NOTICE OF PETITION TO ADMINISTER ESTATE OF ALTON B. KIRKLAND, SR. Case Number PR 8206 To all heirs, beneficiaries, creditors, contingent creditors, and persons who may otherwise...

FBN – Blooming Orchards Grower Alliance

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2019-0000073 Date filed: July 3, 2019 The following persons are doing business as: BLOOMING ORCHARDS GROWER ALLIANCE 985 Wilson Bend Rd., Grimes, CA...

County of Colusa – Ordinance 800

County of Colusa Ordinance No. 800 AN ORDINANCE OF THE COLUSA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS  ADOPTING A MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION, MITIGATION MONITORING AND REPORTING PROGRAM AND...

City of Colusa Notice of Public Hearing and Notice of Intent to Adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration

CITY OF COLUSA CITY COUNCIL NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING and NOTICE OF INTENT TO ADOPT A MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION  NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT THE CITY COUNCIL...