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Posts Tagged ‘orb weaver spiders’

Lunch coming down out of the mountains in Colorado…

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Tacos at Carniceria Sonora in Clifton, CO

Back in Oaxaca in time for a comida of September’s traditional dish…

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Chiles en Nogada at Las Quince Letras Restaurante in Oaxaca de Juárez

And, not to be left out, Argiope showing off her freshly caught brunch…

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Flies or bees or one of each on the terrace at Casita Colibrí

Gals, be they human or arachnid, have got to eat!

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If you suffer from arachnophobia, you might want to click away from this post.

You were warned, so I will continue…  Two spiders, a Neoscona oaxacensis and an Argiope, have taken up residence on my terrace.  This isn’t the first time I have played hostess to these two kinds of orb weaver spiders.

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Neoscona oaxacensis (back)

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Neoscona oaxacensis (underside)

My latest guests arrived a week ago and have been settling in ever since.  Their webs are strung across neighboring plants, though the Argiope’s also extends across a walkway onto the deck.  Unfortunately, a few days ago, I inadvertently walked through it but, undeterred, she rewove it in the same place.  So I have blocked the route with an extremely spiky cactus, to prevent further human destruction.

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Argiope (top)

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Argiope (underside)

Aren’t my new visitors beautiful?  By the way, they eat insects and are harmless to humans, so nothing to be afraid of!

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Last week, a friend of mine in California challenged me to post a nature photo every day for seven days on Facebook.  I had participated in one of these challenges nine months before, posting mostly photos from the countryside.  This time, I decided to acknowledge the gifts that Mother Nature keeps surprising me with in my rooftop terrace garden.

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African tulip tree seen from my terrace, July 6, 2016

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Neoscona Oaxacensis orb weaver spider, Sept. 9, 2016

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Night Blooming Cereus early morning, July 21, 2016

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Lesser Goldfinch (I think) on the terrace chain link fence, Nov. 12, 2016

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Io moth caterpillar munching on plumeria leaf, Oct. 31, 2016

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Hibiscus flower taken Oct. 19, 2016

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Agave and Stapelia gigantia early evening, Oct. 24, 2016

And, in the spirit of the season, they are my gifts to you.  Hope you like!

 

 

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Monday morning, I went out onto the terrace to hang the wind chimes back up (too loud for sleeping), pick up spent African tulip tree blossoms (20 to 30), and say buenos días to Argiope (previously mentioned spider).

Hmmm… all was definitely not “as usual” in the spider’s web.  Argiope, what in the world is going on?

Argiope spider with dragonfly caught in her web.

Good grief, she had caught a dragonfly!  It must have been quite a battle, as her web was a mess and now she was trying to wrap it up.

Close-up of dragonfly caught in an Argiope orb weaver spider web.

This was serious business for her and she worked at it most of the day.  However I had to chuckle, as sayings from childhood rose up from the cobwebs in my brain  —  Your eyes bigger than your stomach.  Have you bitten off more than you can chew?  Pick on someone your own size!

Dragonfly hanging by a thread on the web as Argiope spider has moved away from her prey

Monday evening, she finally gave up and let it loose from her clutches.  When I retired for the night, the dragonfly was hanging by a thread.

Argiope spider sitting in middle of web with a wrapped up fly.

By the next morning, the remains of the dragonfly had fallen onto the patio and Argiope was sitting happily in her newly repaired web with a more appropriately sized breakfast.

Mother Nature is amazing!

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Warning:  If you are an arachnophobe, read no further!

Remember Argiope, one of the orb weaver spiders who hung around Casita Colibrí’s garden from September of last year through January of this year?  When last seen, she was laying eggs on my screen door.  Alas (or perhaps, thank goodness), a workman who was coming in and out of my apartment must have brushed her and her eggs away,  thus relieving me of answering the question, “Do I really want thousands of little spiders beginning to explore the world from my screen door?”

However, I suspect that wasn’t her first attempt at motherhood.   One day this past June, I was surprised to find…

Argiope spider in the center of her web

Argiope’s daughter?  That is what I would like to think!  And she is just as beautiful as her mother…

Close-up of back of Argiope

… both back (above) and front (below).

Close-up of back of Argiope

And, she is just as good as catching her lunch!  I watched as she finished wrapping up the unfortunate fly above.  I guess she needs all that nourishment…

Bright yellow tear-drop shaped egg sack attached to an agave cactus

Another generation of Argiopes in waiting!  And, as I write, the hunting continues…

Close-up of Argiope wrapping up fly

More to come?  La vida may be loca, but on it goes!

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