Creatures

A Pumpkin Spider for Halloween

Spotted crossing the driveway the week before Halloween, this spider, an Orange Marbled Orb Weaver, is a Halloween decoration on the go.

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Marbled Orb Weaver, Araneus marmoreus, shown next to an oak leaf for size comparison.

Marbled Orb Weavers (Araneus Marmoreus) are common and harmless to humans, but their color certainly attracts attention. Apparently, their color ranges from white to yellow to yellow-green to orange; BugGuide shows the many color variations.

After stopping for a quick photo shoot, this one ambled away to a place unknown … but it’s likely in one of the perennial and shrub beds along the edge of the driveway. This adult will die after laying eggs that will hatch in the spring.

Orange Orb Weaver spider, aka Pumpkin spider, in Connecticut during Halloween week, October 2014.

Orange Marbled Orb Weaver spider, aka Pumpkin spider, in Connecticut during Halloween week, October 2014.

Marbled Orb Weavers spin circular webs in low vegetation. They spin these each morning for that night’s catch. For more comprehensive information on Marbled Orb Weavers visit this BioKIDS link.

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Morning in the garden – July 20, 2014

This morning in the garden there’s a chill in the air. Early temperatures were around 60 degrees Fahrenheit … a bit too cool for July 20, 2014 when nighttime temperatures often remain in the 70’s.

Here’s a quick look at some highlights in my zone 6 gardens; quick because I’m taking advantage of the cool temperatures and overcast sky to deadhead two 30′ Lamb’s Ear borders. Now that their blooms have mostly faded, and wind and rain have knocked the tall flower spikes askew, the borders look rather unkempt.

While I work, please enjoy the tour.

Wish me luck on catching another chipmunk thief … if you look closely at the upper right corner of the tomato photo you can see the trap. The little buggers had a wonderful meal on the last batch of nearly perfect red cherry tomatoes … gone before I could get to them. One thief has been captured and relocated in a habitat far, far away. Now we’re waiting to capture the next thief so it can go on a similar ride.

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