I’ve never been a big fan of spiders. I find them a bit creepy… When I was a child, I couldn’t even look at a picture of a spider without getting scared. With time fears fade. I used to feel similarly about bees; the other day I stood surrounded by them as I took butterfly pictures and they didn’t bother me at all… not one little bit.
Spiders still startle me when I see them, but my heart calms quickly and I will stand and watch without fear. One of the first photos I took with my new Canon Rebel XT back in August of 2006 was this one:
It was a lucky find and a lucky shot since I knew next to nothing about my camera or photography at the time. As I’ve learned more about my camera, I’ve hoped to find such an opportunity again come August… Yes, I’ve actually hoped to see a spider! My, I’ve come a long way, haven’t I?
While walking the trails at Audubon the other day, I did happen upon another Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia).
Because this one has a less spectacular web, and a smaller abdomen, I wonder if it a male? The accounts I have read indicate the the male is smaller and his web is not as big or elaborate… I’ve also read that his web is usually built nearby a female, but this is the only one I noticed.
Of all the things I’ve read about Argiopes, the fact that amazed me most comes from the “Red Planet” link below. The zig zag thing down the middle of the web is called a stabilimenta. A web with a stabilimenta catches 34% fewer insects, but is less likely to be damaged by a bird flying through it.
I think I’ll keep my eye open for more of these… Would be fun to find a female and male web close by each other and observe for a while. Does she really eat her web and reconstruct daily? Does she really eat her mate? So many things that would be fun to observe first hand… In the meantime, I’ll keep reading…
Read More about Argiopes: