Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hidden In The Tall Grass

When we first purchased this piece of land, we tried to tame the area around the pond.  It was too wild then and it is even wilder now.  Yellow flag, blue flag, orange jewel weed and lots of other plants grow here with abandon.  Many of these plants reach shoulder height on me.   Having driven the garden tractors as close as we could get to the pond,  the two of us waded through the tall grass to get a closer look.

I got a little off the path on my way back out and came upon a gigantic burdock plant.  Something orange and round caught my eye on one of the burdock leaves.  I raised the underside of the leaf to the sunlight so Ed could take a picture.

What we have here is a very pregnant female Shamrock spider.  I would say that this picture is very close to the actual size of this spider.  Clearly she is getting ready to lay her eggs.  She was so fat the her head was not visible.  Just her hairy striped legs show beneath her huge round body.    I marveled at the size of her.  She has a big job ahead of her!  I have seen this kind of spider once before in October of 2008, but that one looked as if she had already laid her eggs.  We left this one where she was and made our way back to the grassy path and our tractors.  It was delightful to see her and I wish Mom and her coming family well.

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