Weavers Unite

Since I moved into my home over five years ago, I have given the Golden Silk Orb Weaver spiders free access to the exterior of the house and all shrubs. In fact, I make sure the bushes are trimmed prior to weaving season.

While there have been several who accepted my invitation in years past, this year they have created an amazing wrap of silk around my home. These females are so big and beautiful this year that I’ve started naming them.

For those with spider phobias it’s probably best to postpone your visit until the weather turns cooler here. My front door has two large webs that flex when the screen porch door opens and closes. And just today, I disturbed Maxine’s beautiful web but within moments she was re-weaving it without a complaint.

These colorful spiders are known for their impressive webs. Their genus name, Nephila, is from ancient Greek and means ‘fond of spinning.’ And they are amazing weavers.

When I do yoga on my front porch early in the morning, I watch them rest quietly in the early light of day. They wait for the wasp or fly or moth that wanders into their sticky trap. Today I saw a large, fat red wasp hanging in its death shroud. It was rather comforting to know it won’t be stinging me or my canine pal Buddy.

When they weave, the first spiral woven is non-sticky silk. Then the spider will add two to twenty inner spirals of sticky silk. Scientists think the outer non-sticky edge is so wind-blown leaves won’t get stuck or other spiders will feel it as a boundary. Vibrations along the strands are the dinner bells when an unsuspecting neighbor flies in for a meal….of which they are the star attraction.

The females are up to 10 times larger than the males. Today I caught a male tickling the belly of a female. That boy is one brave spider. I’m not sure if it was a precursor to mating but seeing spider foreplay was a first for me. The mamas will create a silk sac and attach it to bushes or the side of my home and within the sac 300 to 3000 tiny babies develop.

I’m the wild woman who is out photographing spiders with my macro lens…pushing my camera and nose within inches of their beautiful bodies and hairy legs. I refuse to spray around my house because these gals provide the safest insect control available. And besides that, they are endlessly fascinating to watch.

Weavers of the spider world unite! You are welcome to wrap my home in your lovely, golden webs. You protect me and my little family of cats and the wild dog. With no hesitation I claim you as friends.

Additionally, spiders are reminders to weave the life we want and create our lives as a work of art. Message received!

 

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