White Spider

My neighbour Marilyn found this white spider on a pink anemone flower. I have seen them around the village too. They are inconspicuous as they lay in wait to pounce on unsuspecting prey innocently visiting flowers to collect nectar or pollen, or to eat the flower itself. They have no need of webs to trap their victims. I think it is possibly a Flower Crab Spider. This must be the creature that Robert Frost was describing in his poem “Design” where he says:


I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth—
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches’ broth—
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.


What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?—
If design govern in a thing so small.

Robert Frost
Complete Poems of Robert Frost, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1949

2 Comments on “White Spider

  1. I felt the spider was part ghost, half of this world and half not, held by its position in the flower; and when it let go it would vanish from our earthly sight. The poem then added to this idea for me. What an observer you are to see this scene and pass it on. Thank you.

    • This image was captured by a neighbour of mine in Greenwood House. I had seen the white spiders myself occasionally but had not got around to posting the pictures yet. So I was delighted to use Marilyn’s photo.

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