Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Aggie is an agriope aurantia spider, more commonly known as a black and yellow garden spider. She built a web outside our kitchen window next to the screen porch. We've been watching her all summer and it has been a wonderful learning experience. I wish I had taken pictures sooner, but at least I finally did my get my act together.

August 8, 2014

The photos are taken from inside the porch or the kitchen window. From outside you mostly see the white zig-zag part of the web that she creates. At first when we would go out on the porch she would shake her web, which we learned was to warn predators (us) that she was big and ferocious. After a few days though she got use to us and remains still.

One evening after sitting on the porch talking to my sister, I decided to go back into the house. Glancing over at Aggie, I noticed she was not in her usual spot. Instead she was hanging from the lower part of her web, motionless, her limbs drooping (sorry, I don't have pictures). She looked like a tiny squid. There was a larger brown spider above her which I later learned was her exoskeleton. She had shed it because she had outgrown it. Unfortunately we didn't know that until the next day and I was teary-eyed and sad all evening. When we arose the next morning, the skeleton was on the ground and she was happily working on her web!
August 21, 2014

Aggie is growing larger and fatter. Her web is more intricate and layered. She disappears once in a while but when we search for her she is usually working on shoring up her web.

August 27, 2014

We woke up this morning to find Aggie missing again. Later I went outside to find that she had built an egg sac and was in the process of laying her eggs. From what I have read, the eggs will hatch and live inside the sac. Aggie will care for her babies as long as she can, but she will not live past the first frost. I know I will be sad at losing her, but I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to learn about her species.