Sunday, September 10, 2023

Black and Yellow Garden Spider


A black and yellow garden spider is currently spinning webs and trapping insects in my yard. Click to enlarge.

She is very pretty, right? She's also very BIG; I estimate just over and inch long. The web she's on is more than a foot across.

The web has a zigzag design on it that is called a stabilimentum. Black and yellow garden spiders are famous for it, though its purpose is disputed. It may be to increase the visibility of the web so that birds (and photographers) do not accidentally crash through and wreck it. These spiders work day and night, so that makes sense. Others think it conceals the spider in the center. Some think it attracts insects.

Let this be a reminder that fall is coming. That Halloween is around the corner. That spiders have been working all summer and have grown large! Here's a disturbing little poem to celebrate.

The Spider and the Ghost of the Fly

by Vachel Lindsay

Once I loved a spider

When I was born a fly,

A velvet-footed spider

With a gown of rainbow-dye.

She ate my wings and gloated.

She bound me with a hair. 

She drove me to her parlor

Above her winding stair. 

To educate young spiders

She took me all apart. 

My ghost came back to haunt her. 

I saw her eat my heart.

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