Busy Little… Spider?

This is Charlotte. Charlotte is a garden spider (Argiope aurantia) who annually makes our home her home. Though of course it isn’t the same spider year to year, we always call her Charlotte. She used to always make her web on or beside the back porch, but she has moved to a sunny spot in a corner over the past couple of years.

img_7173

Each year, female garden spiders lay eggs, which they enclose in durable webbing sacs to protect them through the winter. Then, in the spring, these eggs hatch, and tiny spider hatchlings come out to make their own webs or fly away on bits of thread to find new homes – just like at the end of Charlotte’s Web.

Normally, you see one big brown egg sac on Charlotte’s web every fall. This year she’s been especially busy, however. Not one, not two, but three egg sacs adorn Charlotte’s web. We may have a whole family of Charlottes next spring!

img_7172

Garden Wildlife

There are all sorts of creatures that lurk around in the out-of-doors. Every summer, a beautiful garden spider makes her home in the boxwoods by the back porch. We name her Charlotte, of course, and we leave her web undisturbed and she gives us a fascinating glimpse into a slightly different part of nature than that occupied by the furry animals that we call our friends.

Having a garden spider every year means that Charlotte must leave her progeny behind to take her place the next summer. We’ve left a small untrimmed area of a boxwood where she placed her egg sac last year. I can’t wait to see how the little spiders hatch and grow as spring goes on.

Image