Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spooky!

It's hard to only see the beauty in a garden once you've started gardening in earnest.

Oh, yes, you see beautiful things.


But you also see weeds.  Plants die, or they become sick.  Sometimes they're trampled on.  Sometimes your design doesn't look they way you imagined it.  Sometimes the colors clash.  Sometimes the plants get too big, or not big enough.

There are a lot of things you begin to see that aren't necessarily beautiful.  And if you're gardening in earnest, you see them on an almost daily basis.

But there was something I saw this week that I've never seen before.  And it was kinda spooky!

I was reaching out to deadhead a rose.  When it dawned on me that there was a spiderweb attached to the rose.  And attached to the spiderwb was a spider.  Luckily, I realized it before I reached down and touched it.

Now, spiders generally don't bother me.  I know they can be good.  I don't mind them.  Unless they've put their web across my path, causing me to walk right into it.  I don't think webs have a mind of their own, but for some reason, webs always get tangled around my face and in my hair.  Always.

This, however, was a puzzle.  I wondered what the other stuff was.  It wasn't just a regular spiderweb.  And being arms length, I couldn't see it very well.  So, I did the logical thing.  I bent down closer.

Closer.

Closer.

My face was just inches away.  Then I suddenly realized what it was.

Spiders!  LOTS and LOTS of baby spiders!  Tiny, miniature spiders just starting to hatch out, wriggling around on their eight tiny legs, crawling around the leaves of the rose.


The mother spider was protecting her babies.  She was ready to do battle with me.

No need, mother spider!

I had jumped away just in time, with a jumbled mix of awe, disgust, shock and fright.  I was spooked!

Then, briefly, a feeling of paternal bonding swept over me.  It was very, very brief.  Yet, I couldn't bring myself to do anything to the mother or her numerous babies.  It was spooky, yes, but not necessarily bad.

Still I wonder: Do I really need that many spiders in my garden?

56 comments:

  1. Oh yuck. Yes I know some of them are good also but I really don't want to see them, especially not what you saw.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. haha - I wish I hadn't seen it, either! :)

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  2. Holley, I kinda sorta like spiders too, in that 'I know they're good for the garden in a far off enough in the distance' way. But oh, I would have been creeped out too. I was staring at the babies in your photo and then suddenly noticed Mama and whoa, I jumped from way up here in Wisconsin. She really blends in well, great camouflage. With her and the kids on patrol, the aphids and beetles better beware!

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    1. I'm still not sure I need so many, but maybe they will eat more of the bad in my garden than the good!

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  3. Holley, I had the same spider nest on my thuja. They'd grown and went away, I've not seen they on thuja since that time. You may use any chemical liquid and spray your rose, if there are lots of spiders.

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    1. I don't think I mind the spiders so much as the grasshoppers I've been seeing everywhere! Hey - maybe the spiders will eat all the grasshoppers! :)

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  4. It will still be a survival of the fittest for all those baby spiders, only a few will make it to adulthood for you to see again next year. A fitting Halloween post!

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    1. I figured they had a low survival rate if there were that many babies! It must be tough to be a part of their world.

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  5. Wow, what a cool moment to observe! I can imagine you were a little creeped out. That's how I felt about the snake I found the other day...it was a little spooky but I couldn't keep myself from going back and watching it. There are so many fascinating things going on in our gardens!

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    1. Yes, I was extremely creeped out. I wanted to look longer, but it made me itch! Isn't it funny how our imaginations can get so carried away! :)

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  6. We had a couple of spiders nests hatch this past spring and it was fun for the kids to see the little spiders. Otherwise, it just felt like we had a thousand little spiders that would try to make their way into our house eventually.

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    1. I hadn't thought about them getting into the house! I could only imagine all the webs I would have to avoid!

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  7. Yes, we also have spidernests sometimes in the garden or once in a corner of a window and I don't want to have them inside. I suppose they will not all survival, only the ones which are most lucky. You made a great picture of mother and kids.

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    1. I suppose their survival rate must be very low. I hope they get to eat some of the bad creatures before they get eaten.

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  8. green lynx spider? (Before you reach for poison, remember that birds will eat lots of them)

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    1. Yes, green lynx. I find them planted on my rose blooms a lot. I don't mind them, except when I'm bending down to smell the bloom, then realize they're on it!

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  9. I would have been scared too! I once bent to smell a rose and saw a mantis waiving its arms at me inches away from my nose...

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    1. That would be scary! I guess we scare them as much as they scare us, too! Can you imagine some big giant starting to bend down low just inches from you? :O

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  10. I go crazy walking through spider webs, trying to get them off me. But I do like finding the spiders in the garden. That was a pretty spider you captured and better yet, you got her brood too.

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    1. I don't think I've ever seen the hatching of spiders. There were so many! I was afraid they would be gone by the time I ran back inside to get my camera, but they were coming out slowly. Very vulnerable. No wonder mama was guarding them!

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  11. Oooh, that is such an interesting find in the garden. Very appropriate for this time of year.

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    1. Yes, spooky things go on in the garden! Some are quite scary!

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  12. Oh gosh, good thing you didn't reach in there! I guess they'll eat all the pesky insects on your Roses! Still, this post had me shivering!

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    1. I hope they only eat the bad pests, but they will actually eat anything they can catch. I guess the garden needs them, though. I don't like to mess with the creatures, hoping that a nice balance will ensue.

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  13. Spiders are good to have in the garden. However, last spring we had a nest hatch in the house! Well, probably more than one nest, but one that I noticed; I had been cleaning the windows in the morning and suddenly realised some black spots on one of them later in the day, thinking it was odd how I could have been THAT bad at cleaning. And then I saw the spots were moving... Hundreds of them...

    Well, out came the hoover! I accept spiders in the garden, but I prefer the fauna in general - and spiders in particular - to stay out of the house!

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    1. I left these alone in the garden, but like you, the house is mine! No bugs wanted inside! :)

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  14. Well you surely don't need that many on one rose bush, but they will spread out - and remember they are probably food for some other hungry "thing" in your garden.

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    1. Yes, it is a harsh world out there. So many of those little ones won't become big ones!

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  15. Ha, well hopefully you'll have less garden pests as well with all those spiders! I feel like spiders are everywhere this fall. You don't often think of spiders as having maternal instinct, either - thanks a lot for that imagery of spiders guarding their babies, ready to leap out at unsuspecting gardeners.. ;)

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    1. I think most creatures have more feelings than we generally give them credit for. In my mind, each little spider is special to the mom!

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  16. OMG, OMG, OMG... do not like spiders. Just the other day, one of the guys at work grabbed me to look at the "bug" that came in with the new plants. YIKES! It was a momma wolf spider covered with her babies. Well, if you have not seen this vision before (I had) it is something to behold (and then scream, while covered with huge goosebumps). Had my Halloween early this year. :D



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    1. Yes, I have seen a wolf spider covered with babies - it looks like a freak of nature, and I don't blame you for screaming!

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  17. You can never have too many spiders. I'm jealous of your hatchlings. OK, I'm scared of poisonous spiders like Brown Recluse, but otherwise all spiders are welcome in my garden.

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    1. Well, I welcome spiders, but I'm not sure I can't have too many! Although, maybe they'll eat the grasshoppers that have become WAY too abundant in my garden!

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  18. Spooky indeed! It took me a minute to see the mamma...Yikes!

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    1. She really does blend in well with the rose leaf coloring!

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  19. When it comes to spiders, the more the merrier! You'll have a healthier garden for it. :o)

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    1. A healthier garden - that sounds good. Glad I decided to let the babies live. :)

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  20. Great photo, Holly! I hate spiders in the house and I must admit I kill any that I find indoors, but I don't mind them in the garden as long as I don't walk right into their webs. In the autumn you can find me walking along the path with my arms waiving around to catch the webs before I get them in my face or my hair :-) I have seen baby spiders hatch in my garden too, probably not the same type as yours, but it is a bit freaky sight!

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    1. I had one spider build a web across my path EVERY DAY for several weeks. Did I learn? No! I ran into it face first every time. Did it learn? No. Finally I managed to get the spider on a stick and took it away from the pathway. That worked!

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  21. When my boys were little, we had a spider sac turn up in a corner of our living room. Teachable moment, I thought. Then one day they hatched out. Hundreds of baby spiders crawling all over my ceiling and wall. Now that was spooky.

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    1. Isn't it funny how those teachable moments can sometimes teach us something - like we shouldn't keep spider sacs in the house! Funny!

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  22. Aaaagggh, your face that close to so many spiders! But, like you said, the AWE of seeing baby spiders! I have never in my life seen baby spiders.

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    1. I am just so thankful I didn't run into them before I saw them! My luck, I would have run into them face first!

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  23. Yuk, spiders and lots of them. I don't like spiders, if they get in my way they go to heaven. Best Wishes.

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    1. haha - I seriously considered baby spider heaven for these guys! ;)

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  24. Yes I say you do need that many spiders as they are food for other critters and also eat other insects. Good for the health of the garden but you knew I would say that...I would love to see it but I have come to love the creepy crawlies...very cool Holley!

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    1. I guess gardening does that to us. What was before a bit spooky and scary becomes interesting and fascinating!

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  25. Yikes, the reaction to getting too close to spiders in the garden. I leave them in the garden and try to steer clear of them, they do eat so much.
    In the house (basement) though we get some rather big female mouse spiders, ARGHHH, I get creeped out just to think about those!

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    1. We have a type of spider that loves to come in the house. The problem with this particular type of spider is it is very hard to kill. You step on it, and it just springs back! Can't stand them!!!

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  26. I remember a bunch of spiders hatching inside our house when I was maybe 6 or 7--I don't think I slept for a week after that! That was even after reading Charlotte's Web and learning to think of spiders as "good guys." I love that your next reaction was to grab the camera, though. You are a true blogger!

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    1. Not sure I could sleep, either, if these had hatched inside my bedroom! I would have to move out for a while! :)

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  27. Amazing! What an incredible find...I have only seen this a few times. I like spiders, and try to leave them be. However, I have been annoyed when I have walked right into one.

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    1. Yes, they can be quite annoying when they build their webs on our usual pathways. I hope none of these spiders end up doing that!

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  28. I do not like spiders but I do encourage them in the garden. Based on that web, your garden should be safe some many pests.

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    1. I hope they eat every grasshopper in my garden! They would be some very fat spiders! :)

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