Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020 - 65

SINGING IN THE GARDEN

... the common garden spider can
produce up to seven different kinds
including silk that is resistant to bacteria.
wigs, ants and flies. And, even better, wolf spiders are
great meals for baby birds. I have a friend who recently
videotaped days of Baltimore oriole parents feeding spiders and egg sacs to their nestlings. She researched it and
discovered that spiders are full of a nutrient, taurine,
that is essential for baby bird brain development.
Many spiders overwinter in my garden debris and
emerge as the weather warms to mate and lay eggs. Last
spring, as I was perched on the hill above my house,
I noticed glints and glimmers of light floating through
the afternoon haze.
I watched with curiosity as more and more of these
shimmers wafted across the field in front of me. I finally
realized what I was seeing. Pin-head sized spiderlings
dangling from the bottom of their own silk threads: legs
flung wide as they hitched a ride on the light breeze. If
you have read "Charlotte's Web" then you know that

each baby spider journeys away
from home on the slenderest balloon that air can move.
The air was magically full of them,
and two or three even ended up catching on my hat brim. They hung there for
a minute, then climbed up to the top side, did a fourlegged handstand, stuck their abdomens in the air, released a fine thread of silk, and let go to ride again. As
they floated away, I blew them gently in the direction
of my garden.
Perhaps one of those little paratroopers is building
a web there, now. I hope so. Free pest control is beautiful even if it does come with eight legs that scare the
screams out of me when I accidentally walk through a
web and worry that the big spider who used to hang in
the middle is now hanging out under my shirt.

VISITHARDYWV.COM

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in our mountains

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Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020

Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020 - Cover2
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Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020 - Cover4
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