Missing the neighbors

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By Carolyn Risner

Fred and Ethel are dead. And so are the Clampetts. The entire clan.

For two days I have mourned the loss of my neighbors-not the sitcom stars of 50 years ago but an entire convocation of spiders, presumably banana spiders, that have resided at my back door all summer and most recently decided to expand their lodging to the front door.

For the last three summers, I have watched their homes develop over days, weeks and months- lacework webs that bear intricate patterns and designs.

Visitors often dodged them and admonished me to tear them down.

But I have refused.

Why? Because when I looked into their webs, I saw an assortment of prey: flies, bees, sow bugs and other pests that really do bother me.

Fred, Ethel and the Clampetts did not.

Whether they were banana spiders or their cousins, the golden silk spiders, to me they were harmless and valued neighbors.

Monday when I got home, I noticed that my rented duplex had been pressure washed.

And while I appreciated the much-needed mildew and dirt eradication, it meant that my neighbors were lost in a tsunami.

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