Around the Backyard Farm – Nature’s Pest controller is CREEPY!

I took a casual stroll through the backyard farm.  Right in front of my studio/office is a little area we call Carlee’s Garden. Earlier in the spring Carlee and I planted flowers.  The zinnias are in full bloom and the butterflies and hummingbirds are in love with them.

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Being a city girl growing up, I had no use for insects of any kind, especially spiders. CREEP – ME – OUT – THE – DOOR.  I can’t say that I’m any less creeped out by their existance now, but given that we’ve adopted the sustainable lifestyle and are attempting to live as organically, as possible, these little beasts probably have a little better chance of survival in the garden now that I realize just how good they are for the environment.

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This big ole black and yellow spider showed up outside my studio tonight.  It’s huge – probably about 3″ and has to be one of the biggest spiders I’ve ever seen here in backyard farmgirl land.  Technically it’s called the Black and Yellow Argiope also known as a yellow garden spider.  This one is probably a female being that it’s so large.  She’s from a family of ORB spiders.  They are relatively harmless provided you don’t harrass them.  They are not venomous and if bitten will probably cause no more harm than a bee sting.  (I read that, I have no intention of being the guinea pig here to find out how harmless it is) Spiders in general keep the insect eco-system in check, which is good news for a garden. (If we can only discover a spider that feasts on squash bugs…)  They will eat as many insects as they can find and potentially reduce the amount of pesticide you need to use in the garden.  Every night they eat their web and build it back during the day.  When they feel threatened they tend to vibrate their bodies in an attempt to look bigger and intimidate predators.    I think we can co-habitate if she just keeps her distance.  In the meantime, it will be fun to watch her… 2

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