When Dee of Red Dirt Ramblings wrote about her lady in waiting on last week's Three for Thursday, my comment to her was that I hadn't seen any Argiope spiders in my garden in a long while. Monday morning, I walked outside to take the measure of the morning and noticed a spiderweb hanging from the gutter on my bedroom patio. Then I took an involuntary step backwards when I saw that the web had a resident!
This beautiful and amazing creature was suspended motionless above me, a queen on her throne with nothing to do but look beautiful and amazing.
I've never seen one this big before. Even my daughter was impressed: when I called her to come look, she trudged downstairs and came outside with that jaded attitude of a young adult who is indulging her maternal unit out of the incredible goodness of her heart. But that changed when Hayley spotted the spider: she took the same involuntary step back that I did. She even served as my hand model to illustrate just how large our new favorite arachnid is.
I've been taking pictures daily, planning ahead for Three for Thursday, and this last picture was taken this morning before I sat down to write this post. I found Professor Trelawney* not in her usual position but on the move. I watched as she circumnavigated her web and it took her a half-circuit for me to realize that she was weaving her orb as I watched. I'm struggling for a word to describe the process and convey to y'all the marvel of simplicity and elegance in her actions. This picture captured our Cassandra in the act of hooking the new section of web to the old. As she spins, she stretches the silk with her left hind leg and then, as seen here, uses her right hind leg to tack it down. She circles the web without pausing to rest, or contemplate whether that last section was equally spaced, until instinct tells her she's done. Then she resumes her position in the center of her universe, mistress of all she surveys.
I hope you'll join me in posting Three for Thursday, if not this week, then next! Pick 3 pictures of plants from your garden ... tell us about 3 books you've read that you want to share ... rant about 3 things that bug the heck out of you ... show us 3 pieces of garden art or 3 photos of egregious crimes against gardening ... have fun, be creative and leave me a comment when your post is up!
*Professor Cassandra Trelawney, the Seer of Harry Potter fame, in whose orb his fate was predicted