I was headed inside this afternoon, thoroughly exhausted by another day of extreme gardening (and mosquito slapping), when I noticed that the orb weaver spider I'd seen earlier now had something beside her in her web. I thought at first it was an egg case but on closer examination, I saw that a hapless bug had ventured too close and gotten caught in her web. The spider was busily working to mummify the bug. Isn't the coloring on her legs extraordinary?
I watched in fascination as the bug literally revolved while she spun. It was eerie and creepy and absolutely enthralling. I'm not an arachnophobe but it did make me a little nervous to get as close to her as I did while shooting these pictures! I kept envisioning her scrambling onto my hand in her hurry to get away from me.
I finally got just a wee bit too close and startled her ... she scurried up the bloom stalk of a Salvia madrensis and made herself very small and inconspicuous. Is it just me, or does the way she's resting in this picture remind anyone else of a Thanksgiving turkey?
If only she'd eat mosquitoes!