Sunday, August 3, 2014

Our Resident Spider

A few weeks ago, we suddenly discovered this huge web right outside our kitchen window on our back porch. A huge female golden silk orb-weaver had decided that that was a good spot to make her home. I say "huge" because for a spider she is...at least to me. Stretched out she probably measures a good three inches if not more. But isn't she beautiful?
We first discovered her when she had caught a cicada in her web. It was one of those gross and fascinating things to watch - I couldn't take my eyes off of what was happening...
Since then we've seen her molt and shed her exoskeleton.
I took these photos right after she had slipped out of her "skin" and was literally hanging by a silk thread.
A little later, fluids had filled her legs once again and she was all normal-looking again.
A few days later, miraculously, a tiny male spider appeared on the scene. Can you believe the size difference?
We've seen her eat a few times since then (like here a damsel fly), but never see the male eat anything. He must dine on air or maybe little flies that get tangled in the web. Or maybe he's too lovesick to eat... :)
A couple of days ago, the female once again shed her exoskeleton (that's it to the right of her) and for a day or so, the male got really close to her (he's on her belly in the photo below). It might have been mating time. We aren't exactly sure...
As soon as she'd move her legs, he'd dart to a safe distance. Apparently, these male spiders have figured out how to relax the female enough to make it out alive after mating.  In the photo below, he's above her at a safe distance...
As of this morning, the male is still around and not much is happening. The web is huge and magnificent and seems to have several layers to it. I watched her weave part of it and am awed by the perfection of it.

I studied up a little on the spiritual symbolism of spiders and of course they remind us of weaving our own stories into our lives and watching out for the webs others weave. Just from watching the female, I get the sense of great creative power, endless patience, and quick action when the opportunity presents itself. And from watching the male? Persistence! And a good dose of caution...

We can't wait to see what happens next! Our very own nature channel...


Linking this to:
Camera Critters
I Heart Macro


Silke

11 comments:

  1. Fabulous photos of the spiders! Spiders aren't my favourite critters, but she is a beauty. Have a great week ahead, Silke!

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  2. well I really don't like spiders but I must admit your photos are fascinating and your story is great.

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  3. My furbabies are all lined up in the kitchen waiting for their 5 o'clock feeding but I couldn't tare myself away from your beautiful spider story and I am awed how you gained so much insight into the spiritual meaning of what you observed. Nature is so full of lessons ... but we have to watch and listen. Sadly most people don't and they miss the beauty of it all. I already thought you were awesome ... now I am moving you up a notch into something better than awesome (can't think of a good name for it it yet, but I will, and when I do ... you will hear about it. Thank you Silke. You just made my day :)

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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  4. my reaction is awed yuck :^)

    i followed a spider like this once, outside my bathroom window. i can see why you're enthralled.

    but still, it's bait creepy…

    :^)
    love
    kj

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  5. Fantastic photos, but I am glad it is hanging in front of your widow and not mine! Valerie

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  6. Tolle Fotos, und ein noch schönerer Bericht aus dem Spinnenkosmos!

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  7. Wow that first shot is glorious, I love capturing photos of spider but ours don't get as big. I did manage an up close harvest man spider.

    http://www.bruceruston.com/blog/2014/08/03/mid-wales-bug-safari-4-8-14/

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  8. Faszinierende und tolle Fotos! Fast eine Fotostory!:) Aber ich wüßte nicht, ob ich die unbedingt vor meinem Fenster haben wollen würde... Aber schön ist sie, keine Frage!

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  9. Oh .... Susanne würde kreischen und Dein Blog gleich wieder zu machen. Die Bilder sind toll, aber so direkt vor dem Fenster würde ich die Tierchen auch nicht unbedingt haben wollen.
    liebe Grüsse
    Elisabeth

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  10. What an amazing set of pictures and fascinating story you've told.

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