Autumn is setting in, here on the Northern hemisphere.
That means shorter days and falling leaves. Leaves that have turned from a green to all sorts of reds and yellows and everything in between. It's given the garden a whole new look and i love it!
But... this transition also gives rise to another phenomena, something most people are not so keen on; the abundance of spiders in and around the house. The most common specie around here is the Cross spider, or Araneus diadematus. These little creatures (no more then 10 - 12 mm) thrive this time of year and you can observe them building wheel webs all around the garden. And they grow bigger and bigger with every day passing.
I'm actually quite impressed by them, to see how they spin their webs with devotion and accuracy. And to watch them 'hunt', or should i say 'sit & watch' with nothing else but patience, and solely relying on their building skills. Bravo! I really like 'm and am not scared of 'm cos they stay out of my way. And i avoid them too, making sure i don't destroy their means of life (i.e. their web).
So far so good, but the other day i was clearing up my workbench, getting ready for a new project. (For those who don't know it yet, my workshop is at the end of the garden, separated from the main house) I was happily tidying up and I came across a jar in the corner, filled with water to rinse some brushes i'd used. I left it there a few days earlier but now the time had come to clean it up.
It was then i saw something that scared the wits out of me; a spider, the size of a giant! I'd soon realized it was dead cos it was floating in the jar, but being in the water it looked huge!
As it daunted on me it could do me no harm i had a closer look and actually felt sorry for her. Cos she'd drowned... It's a 'she' cos i looked it up in some determination books i have. I read the females of this specie (Tegenaria gigantea) are way bigger then males (you can say thát again!). It's said in autumn the females explore their surroundings, looking for males to mate with and that must have been how she found her end. Poor thing...
It also stated they don't build webs; they hunt in an active way... and are known to be seen running around... ooh boy! I'm glad i'd never seen them before, but to know they seem to live in my workshop too?! Brrrr...
ps. I realize some of you miniature friends live on the other side of the globe and probably laugh at my fright... for all i know you consider this spider as just a tiny one compared with the even bigger specie that are common in your neighborhood? Just know i admire you all!