It turns out the blonder Spiny Micrathena had not left, only taken her web down for an extended period of re-engineering; I noticed yesterday she had strung up a new one, slightly smaller, without the extremely long anchor spans. ("It's a lovely location but these long cables simply will not do -- I'll be too exhausted to liquefy dinner!") She was taking it down at last sight that evening and had renetted in the same location this morning.
I stopped by tonight and she was busy wrapping what appeared to be a large gnat or small fly, long legs converging on the task and spiny abdomen bobbing, looking for all the world like a 1960's housewife with a beehive hairdo wrapping up leftovers.
Spiders are remarkably task-oriented and as ambush hunters go, they keep busy. I like them -- any creature that sets up shop to snag insects that annoy me, and does the job for free, is okay by me. Especially if they stay out of the way, which Micrathena does. (The timid, hairy funnelweb weavers are okay at staying out of the way but they leave a mess: they don't bother to take down old webs. C'mon, kids, don't litter!)
Looks like the back yard at Roseholme Cottage has a new tenant. I'm hoping to get some photos tomorrow when the light is better.
4 weeks ago