Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Backyard Wildlife

imageLadybug on banana leaf (one of two I grew from seed!)

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And here’s a spider on web spun between two tomato plants. 

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They love this spot!  There is always a spider here by this time of year, as well as between any two tomato cages that don’t get too much human traffic.

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Anyone want to tell me what species this is?

Here is a link to a past spider!  And a swarm of baby spiders!

Ooh – postscript:  I just went back out to try to get a picture of his back and markings, and I must have jiggled the web, because he ran off… but as he did, I got this shot.  Based on the stripey legs and markings, I suspect it’s an Orb Weaver of some type. 

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Whatever it is, we are lucky enough to live in Ontario, where there are probably fewer venomous spiders than anywhere else in the world.  There are apparently a couple of native species of Widow spider, and rumours of Brown Recluse.  Others say Brown Recluse are strictly warm-weather spiders.  Either way, they are more rare than rare.  I feel happy when I see spiders because it means I am fostering a nice ecosystem full of delicious bugs.

Ditto with the ladybug.  Despite their smooth, cheerful appearance (which tells the birds they taste gross!), ladybugs are ferocious, carnivorous predators that prey on many of the bugs, like apids, that gardeners hate.

I try to feel happy whenever I see a bug, any bug.  If it’s an aphid infestation, I just tell myself the ladybugs will find it soon, and leave well enough alone.

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