First Argiope of the Season.

Whatever you call it, golden orb weaver, yellow and black garden spider, yellow and black argiope, writing spider, or zig-zag spider this large, common orb weaver is known binomially as Argiope aurantia. The one pictured has stationed itself at the Black Bear Overlook in Explore the Wild. Its a bit early in the season for this species. I usually don’t see them until fall has arrived. They’re here all summer long, just smaller and more hidden, but fall is whenRead more

Daggers, Spiders, and A Leaf

Although it’s in the upper eighties as I write this, it’s fall, and fall things are happening. Caterpillars are crawling off to form cocoons in which to pupate over winter, orb weavers are constructing webs seemingly everywhere you turn, and leaves are morphing to shades that dazzle the eye. The last time I saw an American dagger moth caterpillar was in September of 2016 here at the Museum. I saw three daggers just this week (10/10/17). The dagger moths areRead more

Spider Time

Its not until fall that most of us become aware of the spiders in our lives, specifically the orb weavers. Orb weavers erect those large circular webs between tree branches, overhead wires, fence posts, porch posts, across the path your walking on, and just about everywhere else you might happen to be during your daily travels about the landscape. If there’s suitable substrate, something to attach a web to, a spider will do it. The spiders have been doing their web building allRead more

Bluebird Update 7.14.15

The last of the active nests has been vacated. The three bluebirds that have been fed and protected by their parents for the past several weeks in the nest box at the Butterfly House, have fledged. They are out in the real world learning how to secure food for themselves, find shelter, and hopefully avoid predators. The only activity in any of the nest boxes is that of spiders and wasps.     The paper wasp nest at the Sailboat PondRead more

Misty Mornings

With cooler nights come misty mornings. If you need evidence that spiders and other web building creatures are about in great numbers simply go out for a walk and see for yourself.                 Longed-jawed spiders are in a different family than the familiar orb weavers that constructed the webs in the top six photos. Orb weavers are part of the Araneidae family of spiders. Long-jaweds are in the Tetragnathidae family. They, long-jawed spiders, alsoRead more

Spider Time

If you’re the first one on the paths or trails in the morning during the next month or so, whether here at the Museum or on your favorite hiking trail, you’re likely to come face to face (literally) with a spider web. A face full of spider web is an uncomfortable feeling for most folks. Even if you like spiders (it seems many people don’t), most people react by immediately tearing away at the web, get OFF of me! And,Read more

The End of the Line

Each fall morning as we leave our house to drive to school and the Museum, my daughter pushes me out of the door first. Somewhere along the line she has acquired a fear of spiders and a distinct aversion to their webs (this is very common aversion). In the fall there’s lots of spider webs about, several on my back porch. If I go out the door first my passage tends to clear a path for her, I wipe outRead more

Handsome Katydids and Pretty Spiders

It’s well known that late summer to early fall is the time of year when there are more insects about than perhaps at any other time of year. If you’ve been walking around outdoors lately you may have noticed many more grasshoppers than earlier in the season. Many of the grasshoppers and katydids that were hatched out this past spring and early summer have now grown into adults and are happily munching away at the grasses and tree leaves aroundRead more