Cindy, From My Corner of Katy sponsors Three for Thursday every week, and the nice thing about this meme is that you can choose whatever three things you want. This week, I’m all about the insects living in my garden, and this time of year, there are a lot of creepy crawlers out there. Here’s one locavore who makes it her business to eat locally, and she’s not even an insect. She’s an amazing arachnid instead.
This large and impressive spider wove her huge web over the entire first tier of the raised border next to the deck. Can you see how large she is in this picture? That’s my rain gutter, and she’s nearly the size of it. When I saw her, I about jumped out of my chair because my other garden spiders are more elongated and not so uhm, voluptuous. So, I consulted the Internet and my spider loving friends, and they all agreed she was an orb weaver, also called a zig zag spider, but officially a black and yellow Argiope. Although she quite frankly creeped me out a bit, I also felt sorry for her. The wind had damaged her magnificent web. For two days, she just sat on the edge of it as though defeated and a bit depressed.
This morning, I went to check on her, and I discovered why she was so large and why she didn’t move much. I found her or perhaps her mate, much smaller, sitting in the middle of a reconstructed, if somewhat less ambitious web.
Above, where she’d been sitting patiently only the day before is the largest egg sack I’ve ever seen, and it explains both her reticence to move and large size. She was in the family way, and having been pregnant myself three times, I can tell you I didn’t do much those last three days before giving birth. In fact, when pregnant with Bear, Non-Gardening Best Friend, Aimee, came over the day before I went to the hospital and vacuumed for me because I just didn’t have the energy. If spiders can feel, and perhaps they can, I bet she was panting for air and didn’t care that her web was a mess.
I’ll watch the egg sack and protect it from humans. In the spring, if I’m home when the babies hatch, I’ll take a picture and show you. Oh, and these spiders don’t want to bite humans. They are a beneficial creature in the garden eating lots of insects. You know, part of the wonderful circle of life. Just look at those markings. The good Lord didn’t need to make them so colorful and interesting for us to observe, so be nice and don’t squish them. Please.
For more information on these beneficial and beautiful spiders, please visit Mark Moran’s article.