Thursday, September 6, 2012

American Classic - An Ode to Argiope Aurantia

Few wild creatures are as ubiquitous in late summer as the arachnid known as "writing spider", "garden spider", "sewing machine spider" or by other equally apt names such as "giant black and yellow spider".

Blog posts proliferate in late summer with images of this noble creature. Often slinging its silken hammock close to a window or door or in the shrubs out front, it is frequently encountered in a sunny but sheltered spot near human habitations. She's probably been hanging around since the spring, but is only now growing large enough to be noticed.


Hours spent in silent stillness, hiding in plain sight, this large orb weaver quickly enshrouds her hapless prey in a silken cocoon.  

She recycles much of the central web each night, strengthening it and perhaps scrawling a new message   in the center just for you. Cool facts abound regarding this amazing creature; she packs a lot into her year on the stage, then leaves an egg sac or two with a few thousand offspring in hopes that one or two might survive to carry on the tradition. 

Wonder what happened to her mate...?


  1. It's been a long time since I've seen one of these beautiful spiders.

    Welcome to the Nature Blog Network! I ran across your blog in the newbies newsletter, and it caught my eye because I have a nature blog about Portland, Oregon, but I grew up in Mt. Airy, NC.

    You've got a nice one here - incredible photos! I'll be staying tuned for sure.

  2. Thanks Matthew. We're in the Sanford, Pinehurst, Fayetteville area, but we always enjoy traveling up towards Mt. Airy. In fact, there was a very nice article in this month's State magazine about the huge granite quarry in Mt. Airy. I appreciate your kind comments, and I'll try to keep the photos from the Old North State coming your way...