This is one Mean Old Lady!

This is one Mean Old Lady!
Self-portrait: 'Quilter on Fire'

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Spider, Spider...

Some of you may know that we have had some unpleasant encounters recently; we're referring to this as our 'Arthropod Summer,' and not in a nice way.  

There was the invasion of bird mites, there were awkward moments involving fire ants, and scariest of all was the Dhubby's bite from a black widow.  

Our policy, when we see spiders, is to stomp first and ask questions later.

There is an exception:  

This handsome specimen took up residence a few weeks ago and seems to be prospering in this location.

Writing spiders aren't interested in living inside the house and are not aggressive toward humans.  

I enlarged and cropped this picture, which unfortunately has made the image less sharp, but you can still discern the black-and-yellow markings on the spider's body and the artistic decoration in the center of the orb web.  

If you watch long enough, you will see an insect get tangled in the sticky web...and marvel at the speed with which the spider races down to roll the victim over and over swiftly while its spinnerets provide the bonds.  Time is obviously of the essence; there is always the chance that the entangled insect might fight free.


  1. We've got one who is lacking the creative gene living right outside our front door. As in, open the door, walk into a big old nasty web, like crime tape. Nothing pretty, just a big sticky web. And, when we see it, the spider is huge, and fascinating, and I'd appreciate it from a greater distance. BUT we really need to discuss boundaries. Thoughts on getting it to move on?


  2. I hadn't heard about Don's black widow bite. So what happened? Did he get ill?

    We sometimes have a lot of wolf spiders around here, but it has been so wet, I think they've given up trying to build webs. I have also seen a black widow in our yard, but not lately.

  3. We have it's twin on our back patio. I keep trying to get a good picture of him...but my camera has not captured such a clear picture as you have here. Our spider has made several different webs and he grows bigger every day! I don't mind his living here, but I'm on the watch out for an egg sac and when I see it I'm going to take it far away into a field or something. He seems to be more interested in catching bugs than bothering us. He's been hanging out here between my plants for about 6 weeks now. I thought the zig zag in the web was most unusual. He does it on every web.

  4. These are not aggressive spiders, and they catch and dispose of many insects, so I am happy to have her/him around. Yes, the 'writing' is on each web, but some have better 'hand-writing' than others, in my experience. Saw one today in someone's garden, and the zigzags were a mess.


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