A Tramp in the (Organic) Garden

Seeds, Smack Talk and Assorted Gardening Madness in South Pasadena, Los Angeles

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Big Bad Spiders and Mud Dauber Nests

What looks like a mud dauber nest...they are solitary wasps. The females rool mud into a ball, and mold it with their mandibles to form a nest. After the nest is done, the female captures spiders or other tasty edibles to leave in the nest with the eggs. When the larvae hatch they have a hearty breakfast to sustain them. Wait, this is a mud dauber nest, isn't it? Gulp. (We found this on the door frame of our side door)

This is a Black and Yellow Argiope aurantia orb weaving spider. My husband found this on the basil and fern leaf lavender plants tonight when he was gathering some leaves for a pesto. MMM. Delicious Argiope spider pesto. From head to toes, this bad mamma was about 2 inches. Yowza! They are carnivorous and feed on aphids, flies, grasshoppers, wasps, and bees.

PS- There has been this abundance of spiders and insects in the garden this year....I always feel like our backyard is this wilderness that wants to return to it's natural, wild state. Spiders come and go, pine needles litter the ground, ants build their nests regardless of knowing this is my cultivated raised bed designated exclusively for vegetables and flowers, possums plunder, a clay soil goes from flat and controlled to rolling and unruly. But is that really so bad? It just reminds me to sit back sometimes and just observe the show...maybe sometimes you can learn a lot more that way if you just sit the f**k down and shut the f**k up.


At 08 September, 2006 09:49, Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

I have one of those big bad spiders, too! I posted about her a week or so ago... isn't she pretty? I have to keep the dog from walking through her web when we go back to "check" that part of the garden. :)

At 08 September, 2006 09:59, Blogger Loretta said...

Their webs are supposed to be as big as 2 feet! Keep your little pupster safe! But they really are beautiful...

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At 28 June, 2009 15:16, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine my surprise when I knocked a wad of dirt off of my outside wall, only to have 20-30 spiders fall out! Barely missing my head. Thank-you for educating me about this creepy experience.


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