Irukandji, is that Captain Cave Man in your avatar? awesome!
my Chupacabra likes to play with spiders. So far he has had a spider beauty contest and painted their little toes, a spider race, something he calls The “Spachlor” where he has a dating game with the spiders, another game he calls “Spurvivor” where they have to get through the jungles of his room without getting killed..oh and there’s “Spidervoir Dogs”..you don’t even wanna know what that’s all about. I wish my Chupy never knew about Quentin Tarantino.
These little guys have been fascinating. Today I had to cut one of the lower support “wires” to a large web as it was blocking the path into my garden. I snipped it with my pruning shears and watched as the spider sprung into action. The web sort of collapsed in but the spider just remained in the center, gathering up all of the silk until it formed a ball. Then it climbed up one of the wires above and started spinning its way down again. I checked on it a few hours later and it looked as though the web was partially re-built and stable again. What a remarkable process.
I too have some large specimens in my yard and other areas. They are really quite beautiful.
One really neat thing I noticed about these gals is they are really fastidious about keeping the web clean. It’s interesting to watch them remove the leaves and other debris that get caught in the webs.
Yesterday I was forced to watch in horror as a neighbor had the Orkin man physically remove the outside spiders, then spray poison on all the trees & shrubs to kill those hiding in the foliage. All of the other beneficial insects were killed as well. I’m sure the exterminator did not bother to tell this client that the largest of these spiders are dying off quickly now and will be gone in a few weeks. Exterminators are notorious for using fear-based tall tales to drum up business. I also did not appreciate the fact that he was spraying when it was windy and there was quite a bit of drift.