|03-16-2010, 02:39 AM||#1|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Believe it or not, this is an apartment block. For spiders.
(Have all the squeamish readers clicked away in fright? Yes? Only three of you left? Okay, let's proceed.)
You'd be forgiven for thinking this is an angel's wing begonia, and it is to us gardeners, but to some very docile little spiders it's the apartment block where they live and cause no problems at all, apart from swatting flies. Here's the occupant of apartment 32B, spotted this morning while I was watering the garden below his apartment block.
He's vewy vewy small but he's not alone. Lots of Begonia Mews' leaves have similar eight-legged occupants who set up webs within the gentle curves of the leaves and make a living trapping inattentive flies, aphids and other passers-by. It's a living.
While most of the residents at Begonia Mews favour an open-plan layout with panoramic views for their leafy pads, there are some who prefer more privacy, and a muted palette of rusty browns. To each their own taste, I guess.
Further up the side path, at Tillandsia Towers, a couple of leaves have been turned into a floating condo for a very shy person who just wants to be alone.
"Go away!" said the recluse when the paparazzi came knocking, and so I slunk away, having got my exclusive shot of JD Spider for Garden Amateur News magazine.
Meanwhile, out at the front of the house they're in a delirium of leafy homemaking. I trimmed the hedges last week and so there are countless leaves still lying around, just waiting for a decorator to do something with them.
Though we don't have much of an autumn here in Sydney, it seems to me that this autumn we have far more of the leaf-wrapping spiders setting up home. It makes sense that they'd do their thing in the leaf-falling season, and while these spiders are around at other times of year, they are suddenly everywhere in my garden.
Colllectively, they perform a handy little service keeping insect numbers down, and they're such small and timid little spiders that they're no bother to me as I potter around. I'm a far more dangerous, scarier thing than they could ever hope to be. My main mission, apart from leaving them alone once I've taken their photo, is not to use any chemical sprays which might kill them (plus the bees and all the other good insect friends in the garden). I wouldn't dream of doing that anyway.
While I can't honestly say that I love spiders (I don't quite, I'm still a bit freaked out by them, or by accidentally walking into webs) I am very happy to say that I do rather like and admire them for their intelligence and natural artistry. As for what they think of me, I'm sure that I'm always just plain scary. Ironic, that.
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