The New Egg Sac

This fall, I have enjoyed watching our resident garden spider (I call her Autumn), who decided to make her web right outside our kitchen window.  About a month ago, Autumn, who was nice and plump, made an egg sac.  You can read about it here.   She slimmed down considerably after making that egg sac.

I’ve noticed for the past week that Autumn has quit re-spinning her web every morning.  Her web is no small creation.  In fact, it’s quite large – about two feet across.  She starts it before the sun is up and finishes it just as it’s becoming light.  I stood at the kitchen window early one morning and watched her finish it. It amazed me how her little body could just keep making more and more silk.  I was mesmerized and I couldn’t quit watching.

It’s been cooler here at night (anywhere from the 40s to the 60s).  One night it got down to 36.  I don’t think we’ve had a frost yet and I know garden spiders often succumb to the first frost.  I notice Autumn’s activity decreases significantly when the temperature drops.  Her web is looking very shabby now and I haven’t witnessed her catching any prey or eating in the past two weeks.  I doubt her dilapidated little web could even catch any prey now.  But I noticed a few days ago that she had become nice and plump and round again.

Last night when I was letting the kitties out on the deck, I had the outside lights on which shine on Autumn’s web (which is between the kitchen window and the screen of the deck) and I noticed that I didn’t see her silhouette in the center of the web on the stabilimentum (the silky zigzag pattern they make) where she just about always sits.  My heart sank a little.  I’ve known her time is about up and I feared Autumn had passed on to that great web in the sky.   My eyes glanced up to the egg sac, and there she was!  She was depositing more silk around the sac.  I thought to myself that she must know her time is drawing near and she was just reinforcing the sac to afford it a little more protection for when she’s gone.

I’ve read that garden spider egg sacs are heavily parasitized by wasps and flies.  A blogger friend commented on my last post that mud daubers are big enemies to the egg sacs and that she often finds baby garden spiders inside the mud dauber nests as she’s washing them away.  I thought about how very hard these spiders work in making the sac and what an incredible amount of energy it takes.  It made me sad to think that all of this spider’s hard work might be in vain.  But then I guess it’s helping the mud daubers.  I keep reminding myself that it’s all about the circle of life.

Two hours went by and I checked on Autumn again and she was still busy working and depositing more silk but this time I noticed a bleb and it dawned on me that she was making a new egg sac!  Where is her energy coming from, I wondered?  Another hour went by and I checked on her one last time before going to bed and she was still busy at work.  It was midnight at that point.

This morning, hubby told me to go check on Autumn, that there was a second egg sac.

Autumn, the garden spider, and her two egg sacs. The oldest sac is the top sac and the newer sac that she spun last night is at the bottom.

Autumn and the new egg sac.

I can’t imagine how exhausted that spider is.  Making that egg sac took many, many hours and I’m sure she worked until the sun came up.  Today I watched a time lapsed video of a garden spider making an egg sac.  I had no idea it involved so much work by the spider.  It’s really amazing when you stop to think about it.

Watching this spider has absolutely fascinated me.  I will miss her when she’s gone.


About Gail

I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, veterinarian, and wanna be writer. I love nature and animals of all kinds, music, cooking, and spending time with my family.
This entry was posted in Animals, Autumn, Life, Nature and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The New Egg Sac

  1. Aw! Autumn has given it one last shot before she goes. I’m always sad to see the garden spiders go.Maybe one of her babies will come stay in that spot next year. 🙂

    • Gail says:

      I am hoping there will be lots of baby Autumns next year! I watched a video of an egg sac hatching and there were thousands (!) of baby spiders crawling on a window going in a thousand different directions. I thought to myself…. I am nuts for leaving these here! But as long as they don’t come into my house, I’m good! LOL!

  2. Relax... says:

    Sweet… We do see how much work goes into it all. I try not to kill anything anymore. Everything has a purpose — maybe even fleas and ticks and cockroaches, lol. I wrote a poem about a spider facing colder and colder temps. Thanks, Gail — I don’t feel it’s as odd as I first thought it, now!

    • Gail says:

      My husband is worried about me and I realized how darn attached to this spider I am when I started worrying about her not eating last week. I told hubby I was actually contemplating catching a bug and trying to figure out how to get it in her web! I knew I had really lost it though when I started wishing I could somehow rig up a heater for her to keep her warm and prolong her life! Hubby was ready to have me committed at that point! Lord, help me!!

      Oh and I miss your blog and your writing so much. Are you done with the blogging world for good? I hope you are not.

      • Relax... says:

        (Well, unless you also read aloud to the houseplants, you’re okay!) I have tried 2 or 3 times to create a new blog, but WP wasn’t behaving right and I gave up until I have more time to try again, but thank you. ❤️

      • Gail says:

        No houseplants here…. I always seem to kill them off!! (Maybe I SHOULD have read to them)!! LOL! Hope to see you back on WordPress soon! I would love to read your spider poem.

      • Relax... says:

        Lol! Truthfully, almost all my houseplants die within a short while (or languish until summer). And, thank you — I really miss blogging!

  3. Pingback: An Update on Autumn’s Egg Sacs | Moonlight Reflections

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