Three for Thursday: November 12, 2009

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!


The mosquitoes are terrible here too Cindy! Guess it is all the rain we have had. Hope winter brings us some really cold days to kill those pests!
This kind of reminds me of the scene in "Return of the King" where Shelob wraps up Frodo to save for a meal. Your spider is much more attractive and slightly silly.