No Itsy-Bitsy Spider

A huge spider hangs on its web on a tree branch.

The circle of life smacked me in the face last Saturday morning.

I was soaking my aching legs in our cold spa after a short run and looked at a tree branch hanging over the corner of our backyard. A single leaf fluttered in the air without falling to the ground, and there was a big, dark blob near it. After getting out and drying off my legs, I got closer to the blob and could see it was a huge spider.

Can you say “photo op?” I certainly did! I ran inside the house and grabbed my camera equipment.

The web traps a victim.

I quickly snapped the top photo. As I was trying to figure out how to get a better shot lightingwise, I saw a dragonfly hovering nearby. When it stopped moving, I realized that the poor thing was caught in what was a huge, nearly invisible web. Suddenly I found myself in the middle of a National Geographic documentary.

The spider paralyzes the poor dragonfly.

Before I could react, the battle between life and death was over. The spider quickly moved to the dragonfly to inject it and paralyze it. Gruesome yet fascinating.

Admiring its helpless prey

At first I thought I should try to save the dragonfly by knocking down the web. But I must admit that the possibility I might inadvertently cause the spider to fall on me totally cut that idea short. Gross!

Guarding its snack

Later that day when I checked on the spider and the dragonfly, I saw that the arachnid had used the web to tightly wrap up its meal. Spidey was hanging on a thread and occasionally seemed to snack on the remains.

And that fluttering leaf that had caught my eye, alerting me to the presence of a spider web? Ironically, it also was wrapped up with the d-fly.


6 responses to “No Itsy-Bitsy Spider

  1. Wish I wasn’t eating my lunch while I am reading this.

  2. Great photography! Are yo becoming an entomologist? Zeke is fascinated by spiders. There were many in his backyard. He, also, loves the Carle book, The Busy Little Spider.


  3. Susan, what a fun read! Loved the leaf surprise at the end.

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