the Orb Weavers Arrive

I knew that Willow was a spotted orb weaver like Wilma had been before her, but her legs were grey. They were not the brilliant translucent red that Wilma’s legs had been. The day after my birthday i saw a spotted orb weaver in a web on the fence gate. I can’t be sure whether it was another orb weaver or Willow in different lighting. However, the spider’s legs were the brilliant translucent red that i remember from Wilma years ago. I was so excited! What a present.

As far as i can tell, this is a furrow orb weaver. I’ve named her Rose. She’s very shy and keeps to herself. She sits in this corner all day and half the night. She comes out only briefly to hunt and then scurries back into her corner.

She is a big spider and quite beautiful when she does emerge.

This is Mazikeen. She is my favorite orb weaver this year. I love them all but i always have a favorite. Orb weavers are usually gentle giants. They sit still most of the day and wait for the food to come to them. Once it is in the web they will mosey over to it and start spinning it up. Mazikeen is different. She is not a gentle giant. She is small and fiesty. She is a fierce huntress. She doesn’t typically wait for the food to get stuck in her web. She will construct an elaborate web, sit in it, and then reach out and grab insects flying nearby and stick them in the web. She will then begin spinning them up in her spider silk. She is very active and can take down insects larger than her without hesitation.

Mazikeen

One morning i went outside and there was a huge grasshopper in Mazikeen’s web. It was right in the middle and there she was, turning it with her legs and spinning it up. I was late for work so i didn’t stop to get a picture but i loved Mazikeen from that moment forward. The grasshoppers eat everything in their path. If she wants to eat the grasshoppers, well she can stay forever as far as i’m concerned. What a spider!

Mazikeen at work
Mazikeen
Rose
Rose coming out to hunt briefly

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