Spiders (NOT actually insects!)

See more of our spiders.

Orbweaver wrapping up a bee(Enlarge) ©Janet Allen
Orbweaver wrapping up a bee (That big brownish lump at the bottom is part of the spider, along with its black and white legs.)

First, it's important to note that spiders are NOT insects, though I've placed them in that category for convenience.

At a very simple level, insects have three body parts (head, thorax, and abdomen) and six legs. Most insects will have wings and many will have antennae.

Spiders have two body parts (the head and abdomen) and eight legs. And spiders do not have antennae or wings.

I noticed spiders now and then in our yard, and even watched them for a few days, taking occasional pictures. But I've finally discovered how fascinating they can be.

Spinneret ©Janet Allen
The spinneret

Although we love our bumble bees, the spider has to eat, too, and this particular bumble bee was in its final days, since it was fall, when all but the queen die.

We enjoyed watching him spinning the lines to complete the capture of the bee.

I watched one of its legs guiding the silk as it emerged from the spinneret.

A shamrock orb weaver web ©Janet Allen
A beautiful web

We watched this orbweaver and its web for a few weeks and enjoyed seeing the newly-repaired web each morning as well as the little insects that fell into the web, soon to be wrapped up for eating later.

The spider chose a good spot for it—right in the middle of our meadow where there's lots of different kinds of bees hovering around the various nectar plants.

Shamrock home ©Janet Allen
Its shrubby home

The shamrock orb weaver spent most of its time in its home, a little tent it constructed in a plant. It spent weeks there.