Mistress of the Garlic

August 18, 2016

corn spider

Iris and I found an exquisite yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia) in the garlic patch on the farm yesterday.  She was huge – from toe tip to toe tip she was about the size of my index finger!  Her web, accordingly, was about two feet wide and tall, with that beautiful and telltale zigzag design down the middle.

If I was afraid of spiders, stumbling into this lady and her home would have given me a heart attack.  Luckily, I’ve always had a deep respect and fascination with them, and, besides, these particular spiders are calm, peaceful and not venomous.

Iris, on the other hand, has frequent nightmares about spiders, and has a bit of breakdown if she so much as notices a web somewhere (god help us all if one should touch her!).  So I had to spend some time reassuring her that this spider was helping us by building her web there – catching all the bad bugs and whatnot – and that she wouldn’t hurt us.  Eventually Iris calmed down and we spent some time crouched in front of the web, admiring her beauty and size, wondering about what life was like for a spider among the garlic stalks, a queen of her own domain.

We decided it must be a fine thing, indeed.

(Iris wanted me to know, however, that she still doesn’t like spiders.  Fair enough I guess, even though they are a fact of life – especially on a farm!)


  • arlingwoman

    August 18, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Gorgeous picture and good for you for spending time counseling Iris on the worth of spiders. Still, one that size inspires awe–so I can understand continuing fear.

  • rabbitpatchdiary.com

    August 19, 2016 at 12:46 am

    sweet post-and i am not a fan of spiders-but the garden spider is beautiful and your post reminded me of that

  • Kraft Hillside Homestead

    August 20, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I don’t care for any type of spider to be crawling on me, but I am always the one letting the other adults around that spiders are necessary and not as harmful and fear-inducing as we all make them out to be. Still hate walking through their webs when exploring our creek.

  • jennybakerbee

    August 23, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Beautiful photo but I’m with Iris!

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