Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I have a huge fear of spiders - HUGE! So, first thing one morning when I went to the kitchen sink, I found this garden spider right in front of me. It scared me at first, but immediately I became grateful that she was outside and not inside the house. Of course, she was much much bigger than she is shown in this photo. My first instinct was to go outside and kill her. Then, I became very calm and okay with the idea of having a garden spider in my Kitchen window for a little while. I thought it would be educational for both me and my children to watch her. Every morning, we check on the spider, which was later named "Charlotte." Knowing that I'll be alright, I've enjoyed watching her and admiring her beauty. She's a Black and Yellow Argiope Spider.
For the past couple days, Charlotte hasn't been feeling well. I know this because, she wouldn't run after an insect that had just gotten tangled up in her web and she wasn't making new webs every morning. First thing in the mornings, I enjoyed watching her create her masterpiece. It's amazing how it would be in a perfect circle. The kids absolutely love her! It's a sight to see her eat very large insects. Amazing! Doug even enjoyed it.
Yesterday, I found out what was going on. The night before I went to bed, I checked in on her. She had crawled up to the edge of her web, hanging up-side down. This wasn't like her. I figured she was preparing to die. I went ahead and warned Katie what was probably ahead. Well, to my surprise yesterday morning. I found a very skinny spider and a very LARGE egg sac. The above picture is of Charlotte sitting on her egg sac. Charlotte would work diligently making her egg sac secure with her web weaving, but I knew she was getting tired. She'd work for a while and then rest. Busy once again and get real still. Katie couldn't get over the egg sac. She is so tickled that we will be having baby spiders this coming Spring. It has been a real experience for her, watching God's work in such a small creature and how life is always going on. After reading up on garden spiders, I prepared Katie to the worst. According to an article, garden spiders die off soon after laying their eggs in the Fall. The spiders will hatch during the Winter months, but will stay securely in the egg sac. Once Spring has sprung, the spiders will come out of the sac and go on their marry way. Of course, Katie doesn't want her spider to leave us, but I'm trying to teach her that this is God's plan. Lives are lived and then they must pass on, no matter how long or short. Before I went to bed last night, I checked on Charlotte and she was still hanging on. Today, she seems to be hanging in there. It took her most of the day, but she was able to dispose of the old web and spin a new one. I even found her eating a bug that had gotten tangled up in her web.
Here's a better picture of what our spider looked like before she had her babies. This picture is supplied by Fairfax County Public School System.