01 October 2010

They Can't Both Be Charlotte..

..says my daughter, who stares with morbid fascination. This is an Argiope, or commonly called a Writing Spider. The stuff of nightmares, isn't it? The first time I saw one I envisioned evil menacing, unearthly beasts planted here from sinister aliens from some far away planet stowed away in some banana crate imported from the deepest, darkest unexplored reaches of the Amazon jungle by an unethical pod-person corner produce vendor in on the whole alien conspiracy. But it's just a common garden spider.

Hot southern summer is starting to cool off. That's great for us because we get to open the windows and let the refreshing breeze air out our house. When I went to open the windows of the front bedroom, here was my friend, staring back at me. I was only mildly surprised to see her because we had one in the same spot last year. I doubt it's the same one.

Here's the cool part - we have not one but two these year. One is in the upper right corner of our front window, and the other is down sort of above the holly bush on the left side. Very awesome! This one caught a snack this morning.

 
I was trying to get some pics not only of the spider but of the web...

Our camera is pretty good but not fantastic. Here you can see some of the longer structural strands across the window. The actual web is below in the bush. These webs span at least 2-3 feet in diameter each.

Here's Daisy, watching me take photos. The window spider is right above her head. I'm sure if they came in proximity to each other Daisy would snarf the spider up and instantly forget it ever happened.

So here's the cool part. I was doing some research about these spiders this morning and found some good stuff here: http://bugguide.net/ I found out that the male tends to live with the female until the eggs are laid, and considering the female in the window is enormous - maybe the male is still in the web. I didn't find a male, but hidden in the bushes of the web on the left side was this egg sac! That certainly explained why the female on the left was quite a bit smaller than the female in the window.

Oh, and you don't have the huzz yet - check out these spiderlings that will soon habit our front holly bush.

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