Tag Archives: Nature

Meet Georgette!

As a life-long arachnophobe, I find it very strange that I am fascinated by this lovely lady (Perhaps I’m unconsciously doing some amateur exposure therapy!). She has very graciously taken up residence just off our porch, allowing us to watch her re-spin her web every morning while enjoying our morning coffee.

Georgette is a yellow orb weaver spider, although she is known by many names: black and yellow garden spider, golden garden spider; golden orb-weaver, writing spider, yellow garden argiope, yellow garden orb-weaver, corn spider, and zipper spider. Whatever name she goes by, she is one of the most striking spiders I’ve ever seen. The fact that she isn’t particularly hair or furry helps me get over the fear thing as I watch her.

Busy Mornings

Georgette starts her day before the sun comes up. When I came out this morning at 5:00, she was already running her anchor lines to start her new web. The web itself is around three feet in diameter; if you take the anchor lines into consideration, it is easily six feet across. She works so methodically: First the new anchor lines, then the spokes, which are non-sticky. She travels around the web on the spokes. After all her spokes are done, she starts in the center and weaves her sticky spiral outward. The spiral is what catches her prey.

Once she is done constructing her basic web she has one more thing to add: Her trademark “bling,” the thick, zigzagged stabilimentum in the center of the web. Here is a video of the massive amount of silk she uses to make it (Apologies for the background music):

A Well-Deserved Rest

After toiling nonstop for four to six hours, Georgette settles in on the stabilimentum and takes a nice nap in the warm afternoon sun. That is, unless an unfortunate little critter happens to stumble into her web. In that case, it’s time for a quick snack and then back to her nap.

Having a nice rest

Kind of Like “Groundhog Day”

Georgette will have basically the same routine all summer. During the night, she eats her web in order to recycle the silk proteins, and then before sunup she starts work on her new web.

In the fall, she will mate with a (much-smaller) male; it’s possible she will eat him when she’s done. Then she will lay her egg sacs and just like Charlotte, she’ll probably die with the first frost. After my not-so-fond memories of being overrun in my greenhouse with these spiders last year, we will probably move her egg sacs away from the house and let them hatch safely at the edge of the property. One orb weaver is a beautiful miracle of nature; several hundred? Not so much.

Such a hard worker!

“….Because They Don’t Know The Words!”–A Pictoral Collection of Hummingbirds

The photos above were taken in my yard today, using my new (to me) zoom lens for my old Sony camera. I had a really good time experimenting.

The Zesty Bohemian’s Gallery of Artsy-Fartsy Photos!

This poor blog has suffered from major neglect, as has my greenhouse this year. There has been so much going on here at the Homestead and at work that my spare time is at a premium. Something had to give, and unfortunately, it’s been this blog, gardening, and food preserving.

Spending 50-60 hours a week at work (not counting the hour commute each way) does not leave much time for my Homesteading duties. So for this year at least, it is not MY greenhouse. It is officially “Herm’s greenhouse.” If it wasn’t for my ex, there would be nothing growing! I did some planting in there this spring after clearing the beds of their winter vegetation. I also take care of the weeding when I have time. But the seed starts and pest/disease control has been all Herm, and I am very grateful for all his hard work. He also got all the hummingbird feeders filled and put up, with a few just outside the camper window so we can enjoy watching them up close.

When I am home, nearly every spare moment of my time has been spent working with Mike on his new mycology business. I have been having a great time brainstorming some incredible ideas with my boys. Mike has been writing grow guides, which I have been editing and finessing for him. He has had some very positive feedback from local businesses regarding his products and we are very excited to be starting this grand entrepreneurial adventure. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a link to his website, Abundance Mushroom Company. New customers receive 50% off their first order, and you can get everything you need to grow your own mushrooms at home! It would be a great homeschool project, as well.

Now that the warmer weather is here and it isn’t so dreary anymore (I just cannot get motivated when it’s cold and barren), I have dusted off the Sony and have been taking some pictures. I have always loved taking photographs of things close up, and am finally taking the time to learn a few of the basics of macro photography. I definitely have a lot to learn, but I’m having a lot of fun getting out and visiting with my plant and insect friends!