Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Creatures in My Garden: Wasp Spider

Last Sunday, J was outside doing some gardening and called for me to have a look at this spider. You can imagine my reaction... my heart jumped up into my throat! Of course your initial reaction is that it must go, but I decided to do some research on-line. After searching, we both agreed that we thought it was an Argiope bruennichi, or wasp spider. While it does look like your worst nightmare, it appears that they are non poisonous to humans. This is the side effect of not using harsh chemicals in gardening, we get all the beasties. Which is also a good thing, this fierce looking creature will help keep down the population on some of our unwanted pests.

The following Monday, on my way home from work, there was a story on NPR about Charlotte's Web. When I was little, I loved the film, but only saw it once due to the fact that I was inconsolabe at the end when Charlotte dies. The NPR program got me thinking: why wasn't I afraid of the cartoon Charlotte? Would I have been afraid of her or so upset if she hadn't been so witty, elegant, and loyal? To this day I've yet to read the book or watch the updated live action version, despite knowing one of the animators of Templeton. After listening to this though, it made me curios to read it, and see Charlotte through an adult's eyes.

And thanks to my outside guest, my garden will be without (in the words of Charlotte A. Cavatica) "flies, bugs, grasshoppers, choice beetles, moths, butterflies, tasty cockroaches, gnats, midges, daddy longlegs, centipedes, mosquitoes, crickets — anything that's careless enough to get caught in my web."

Here is the link to that story on NPR:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93263496

2 comments:

Jane King said...

That looks like my worst nightmare not that i would have killed it. I wouldnt be able to go near enough to it to kill it - or take a photo!!! Well done you for being brave!! xx

Amy Jemima said...

Thanks :-) When J called me out, I wasn't expecting anything like that! It was taken through the screen with a zoom lens, which is why it is a bit hazy. I had taken some better shot of the top of the spider, outside and closer, but accidentally deleted them and wasn't able to recover them, DUH! Went out last night to retake, and she was gone. Had better check under my pillow!