If you squint you can see autumn in the not-too-far distance and thus the orb-weaver spiders become more abundant in my garden. I do not know what they eat earlier in the summer. They can be small or quite large. They can look intimidating, but if I weed near the web, they will scurry away and wait until I am done. I read this fascinating fact about these spiders: "Generally, towards evening, the spider will consume the old web, rest for approximately an hour, then spin a new web in the same general location. Thus, the webs of orb-weavers are generally free of the accumulation of detritus common to other species, such as black widow spiders." I guess I am thankful I do not have to eat my house each day and build it anew.
I love the common name "orb-weaver." It sounds like some ancient magical spirit who lives in the woods and creates fire-works worthy shows.
This is a fallen crepe myrtle blossom that was caught in the web of one of my spiders. There are sticky parts to the web and non-sticky lines of silk where the spider walks carefully. You must know how strong those sticky strings of web silk are if you catch them across your face or in your hair!
Another magical creature is the dragonfly. What another perfect "common" name. They dart and spin and glide, and while I do not have as many this year as last, I welcome them because they eat mosquitoes! Go Dragon, go.
I planted native mountain mint a year ago and it has taken over, of course. The flowers are meek and small, but pollinators love it!! I have seen many odd and unusual visitors...too many to post here. You can stand beside this silver-gray mint and wave your arms gently above the plant and not a single wasp or bee or insect will rise up and declare war. The wasps are busy collecting nectar to take back to their babies.
Can you see the assassin bug (wheel bug) on the right? He/she eats other bugs and I am wondering if it was waiting for that bee to make a mistake. I did not see it when I was taking this photo.
And the bumblers are everywhere!!
It is nice to stop and recognize the perfection of the little things in life.