If you suffer from arachnophobia (fear of spiders), you may wish to click out of this entry immediately. I am sharing some photos I took of an orb spider who spent several days hanging under a railing on our front porch.
Please meet the Black and Yellow Garden spider, Mrs. Argiope aurantia:
She is large and a bit scary looking because of her size (body is about 1"), but she doesn't inflict any damage to humans (unless we sit on her, and I think a bite caused by that would be forgivable). She like to live in quiet gardens where she can lure edible insects into her web for lunch; for them her bite is poisonous.
Her babies are born in late summer but live in the egg sac until the following spring which is a smart way to get through the winter!
She's quite amazingly lovely and doomed. According to what I read*, in this climate she will probably die after the first frost.
Actually, I had planned to talk about the lovely time we had visiting daughter and grandson this weekend, but realized I couldn't share any photos from his baseball game as they are videos, and I don't publicize his photos anyway! Too bad! He made some good plays, but the outcome of the game was disappointing (the other team tromped them!).
He also went to a bonsai show with his grandfather where he solemnly looked at trees and stones. He met many people whom he charmed with his good manners. At the end, when my daughter and I had caught up with them and we were leaving, my grandson turned to me and said, "I really feel sorry for you because you have to come back here next year!" I thought I'd fall over laughing!
He made comments like that throughout the weekend, and I discovered what a grand sense of humor he has. Another sign of growing up.
Site for more complete information about the spider: