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The Whitehurst Diaries: Garden Spiders/photos by Devin Gould
A fascinating chapter in the story of the National Spider of Gradyville, KY, the Argiope Aurantia, where it's considered a good luck omen to have "a web in every window," this time of the year. There was an expected uptick in the garden spider census from human intervention, but it didn't seem to happen. Grandson Devin Gould's photography including an account of an unwitting grasshopper becoming a feast in a veggie wrap for a Garden Spider's midnight snack, below
Click on headline for essay with photo(s)
By Sharon Whitehurst
We take a proprietary interest in the Garden Spiders [Argiope Aurantia] who appear in late summer and go about their business here until freezing weather ends their short lives.
Last year I kept tabs on two "sister" spiders who maintained adjacent webs in a clump of sedum at the edge of the front porch.
Between them they produced 5 egg sacks, 4 of which were attached to a porch post where they endured til mid-spring [at which point Willis the Cat swatted the limp pouches into the flower bed!]
I expected that we would be inundated with colonies of spiders, but that hasn't been so.
Some days I have discovered a half dozen of various sizes in webs near the front steps.
A day later even the most intricate of the webs has disappeared without trace. Argiope Aurantia spiders rebuild each web for a one-day use only.This sequence of photos accompanying this story was taken by grandson Devin Gould.
He noticed that fat spider in a web which she had anchored to one of the hay barn's siding boards.
The grasshopper in camoflauge armor was lurking near the web.
Devin gave it a nudge and the creature went unwittingly to instant death, becoming a veggie wrap for the voracious Garden Spider's midnight snack. -Sharon Whitehurst
This story was posted on 2011-09-26 04:28:04
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