Yellow Striped Garden Spider...

We have a visitor to the garden!  Actually, I suspect from the webs I have found that there is a population of these glorious spiders hanging around the garden.  They are quite elusive, but when you find one as big and beautiful as this, you instantly become friends.  This one is bigger than my thumb, it's about 2-inches in diameter with legs included.  Oy vey!  Yeah, that sucker is big!!!

I will admit that I am not a spider lover.  Spiderman and I don't go for coffee.  I get a bit creeped out by the eight legs and the sucking juices out of bugs thing.  I will also admit that I have grown to like this guy - not enough to pick it up and make kissy faces at him, but enough to catch grasshoppers for him and feed it while my kids watch wide eyed!

He has a beautiful web that he has rebuilt about four times over the last few weeks.  It looks like the classic spider web with "spokes" radiating outward and concentric circles of progressively larger size.  He has also built a little zigzag pattern near the center of the web which is very common.  I am pretty sure that he is a male because of the size of the web; he is a small web builder.  Females build webs about 2-feet across.  I have seen a web that size in the corn, but have not found the spider yet.

As a child, we often had these in our garden.  They seem much more rare now.  Jules (my awesome farmgal mama) would find them and feed them.  She made a point of giving them grasshoppers and tasty bug treats, and they would grow.  They would learn to recognize Jules when she approached the web grasshopper in hand, and they would eagerly wrap up the hopper while I watched wide eyed!!!

It's amazing how fast they move once you put a bug in their web.  Move your fingers quick.  They can wrap a bug up and inject it with poison in under 10 seconds.  My kids think that it is the most wicked awesome thing they have ever seen.  Their priority every morning is to check the spider.  If it has already caught something, we leave it for the day, but if the web is empty, we go grasshopper hunting.  We had a torrential downpour of a storm last week, and the first question from them was: is the spider okay?    It is great fun, and think of all the things they learn from it...

Rainbow after the amazing rainstorm we had last week.  Beautiful!
And yes, the spider was fine!


  1. Beautiful spider, and beautiful rainbows!

  2. I've never minded spiders, once told they ate my nemesis mosquitos. Not that I particularly want them crawling on me. But I'm all for arachnids in general.


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