A couple of weeks ago we posted some detailed pictures here of Susie Spider. Susie is a huge black and yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia) who spun a very fine web in one of the front garden borders and has been living and dining there ever since. To be honest, we expected some “eeeuhh, spiders” comments from visitors but in fact it turned out to be one of the most popular and commented upon posts we have put up for a long time. We think this speaks well of the friends and occasional visitors we have and who pass this way.
Anyway, a few days back some over enthusiastic watering of the flower bed accidentally did away with Susie’s web and Susie disappeared. We were worried, but a couple of days back there she was again, hanging in her web and waiting for a passing meal. We watched, because spiders are very watchable. Anyway, we realized half an hour ago that a huge and boisterous summer storm was bearing down on us. High winds, blattering rain and hail and lightening – the sort of thing you often get where when a cold front moves into an area suffering from 40C humidex – and we feared for the spider’s survivability. Out with the camera …
Turns out she had a large larder of silk-wrapped meals hanging in the web and was working on the killing and packing of an additional item as you can see from these pictures. As the camera shutter clicked she took the new parcel, hung it with the others and retreated to the centre of her web to await another unlucky arrival.
How do we know it’s a she? Because these big spiders are always female, the males are skulking little brown guys hoping not to become the next tasty morsel.
Post scriptum: Susie survived the storm and an hour later was consoling herself with a fresh catch
Only now catching-up one-mails galore. I have spiders all over my workshop (perhaps because I do not use it enough to disturb them) and I find them a wonderful deterrent to the odd visitor, especially when Mrs. Spider descends within inches of the visitor’s face.