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Garden Orb Weaver

Garden Orb Weaver

Oct. 6, 2018

In early October before the weather turned cold, a garden orb weaver started using my front doorway to build her web, which was big enough that I had to duck to go through the door without disturbing it, but several times I forgot and damaged or destroyed it. But then each evening she would repair or rebuild it and then wait motionlessly in the middle until a flying insect blundered into a sticky strand of silk and became ensnared, whereupon she would pounce, gather in nearby strands of silk, and spin her prey in the silk until it was encased like a cocoon.

After a few days it finally dawned on me that this was a perfect opportunity to take some pictures at night while my arachnid guest was on her perch. The porch light would back light her and her web, but the background would not be lit at all. So for the next few nights I observed and photographed her, sometimes moving the camera in very close for extreme close-ups, and she was a very cooperative subject that did not let this spook her.

After a week or ten days, the weather turned suddenly much colder, and the flying insects virtually disappeared overnight. My orb weaver guest stuck it out for a few more nights, but finally she gave up and stopped building and monitoring her web, and I haven't seen her since.