Monday, May 4, 2015

lurking on elm leaf

lurking on elm leaf --
unfolding, pleated, saw tooth edged --
a tiny crab spider

If I had not stopped to admire the pointed jade pendants of elm leaflets, I would not have spotted the minuscule spider clinging to a newly opened leaf. Such are the serendipitous rewards of the beauty-seeking eye. 
          It's a crab spider, perched on the spine of a leaf just turning from basic red ochre to photosynthetic green. Her patterned hazel body and narrow yellow front legs mimic the color and shape of the leaf sepals, so she has a good chance of ambushing an unobservant insect. But for me, once I detect her, she jumps out from the scenery like a typo on a printed page.
          She doesn't move as I take her photo, still as a stalk and still stalking. When an insect chances by, she will pounce and paralyze her prey with a poisonous bite. Patience rewards she who waits.