26 October 2012
[[ Most recent update: 18 November 2012 (punctuation and spelling). ]]
We have a number of garden spiders making homes in various locations in our garden.
Here is a close-up of the one shown in the banner at the top of this page.
This white spider lives near the ivy covered fence that marks the eastern side of our lot. There is very little color other than white anywhere on her. If there is such a thing as an albino spider, this is probably a prime example. My Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary, tenth edition, defines an albino as: “as organism exhibiting deficient pigmentation: esp: a human being or nonhuman mammal . . .”
This spider is certainly an organism , and certainly NOT a mammal, so it must simply be an unusually rare spider or a mutant arachnid. I have never seen another one like it.
A sisters of the white spider, shown below, lives in a web stretching from a rafter to the edge of the pergola leading to the main entry door. We call this spider, shown below, our front door spider.
Spiders catch and eat various kinds of flying insects – such as the house fly being munched upon in the photo.
Since we use no toxic insecticides, the spiders lend a useful service by keeping the insects in check, and we think of the spiders as our good and useful friends.
Also, spiders can be fun to play with.
How does one “play” with a spider, (you might what to know).
One way is to get a long leaf of grass, or a small twig, and “ping” the web. The spider will come to investigate. Usually, after finding nothing captured in the web, the spider will “look around” to make sure nothing is amiss, then return to her resting place, usually in the middle of the web.
Another, more interesting “game” is to gently stroke the top of the spider’s body. Some spiders will immediately race to the edge of the web where they can hide under a leaf, or other hiding place. Occasionally, the spider will simply turn to investigate the intruder and / or reach out with a front leg to touch the blade of grass, then, after finding nothing of interest, simply return to the middle of the web to wait for a snack to come along.
Jumping spiders, which do not spin the “normal” web, are even more interesting to play with, and that’s a story for another day.