It’s like the wild animal kingdom around here lately. We discovered dozens of these newly hatched garden spiders (Argiope aurantia) crawling all over the sides of the compost bin at the community garden the other day. I’m glad I brought this little digital camera with me, even if it’s a crappy one. I wasn’t going to take pictures, but changed my mind at the last second, thinking that I’d be bummed if something exciting occurred. And it did!
These little guys and gals are a welcome sight in the garden. They keep the bug population down, and we need it at that garden. It’s nearly impossible to be there at dusk for all the biting bugs that come out. Some gardeners complain about spiders since they’ll eat both the beneficial insects and the harmful ones. But I like them regardless and have never felt that the beneficial insect balance was off despite a healthy spider population. The more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. We’ve caught the emergence of these little spiders one time before. It was hard to miss since they were crawling all over the watering can!
I sometimes see the adults too. They seem to prefer to make their home among the calendula and borage best.
I was a little freaked the first time I found one — look at those fangs! But I’ve never been bitten. They’re harmless to us. The saying that they are more afraid of you is true. My only request is that they stay out of my hair.
Here’s a video of the little critters running around. Don’t watch if you’re squeamish about spiders.