My scary little friend

For the first time since I moved to my new house, I went out to the patio and paid close attention to what was happening around me. I closed my eyes and listened to various sounds of different animals including, birds, a rooster, dogs barking and what most caught my attention was the sound of an owl. I also looked at the animals on the ground and paid close attention to what was moving and I realized that there are several bugs that at first side you can’t see them and that around me there is a whole new place where life is made.

I think we always see nature but we never pay attention to what is happening, to whom we can relate or to the animals and plants that have life and share space with us. Throughout this year, I have learned to see the world from a different perspective, to feel, to see, to smell, to relate to nature, to understand the why of the things that happen around me and to know that we are not the only ones alive.

I was inside my house when I saw a really big web with a huge spider on it. It was very shocking to me to see the web because it was so big that I could see it perfectly form the inside of my house. I went outside to see the spider because I was struck by its colors and its super long legs. every time I got closer it got bigger and more fascinating. when I was closed enough, I started taking pictures and documenting every aspect and color it had. I was very scared and afraid to get too close because I felt like it was going to jump on me. When I saw the web, I realized that there was not only one of those spiders, there were 2 more. I wanted to explore and know more about this Silver Garden Orbweaver because I was intrigued to know if it waspoisonous, how long does it live and the features of the web.

Coming face-to-face with the significant being make me realize that we share our spaces with others and that maybe the animals that are there and that are insignificant to us can actually help us or are helping us in a way. For me, keeping in mind the life of these spiders in my house has made me think about how these spiders help me, what they do in a day and how they relate to the environment.

I started researching these spiders and through an app called Inaturalist, I learned that these strange spiders are called, Silver Garden Orbweaver, this is a spider that you can find in Central America, South America, Florida, Texas, Arizona, and parts of the Caribbean Island. They have a silvery carapace, alongside a brown abdomen with black and yellow stripes. I think is very cool how their legs are a bland of silver and black with white bands.

Something that really called my attention was their web, it was about 8 feet long and 3 feet wide. The web was really big and it was between some plants and trees in my garden. It had a very peculiar design in the shape of a zigzag. When researching I read that the zigzag pattern made of thicker silk called a stabilimentum helps identify it as a part of the garden spider family.

Throughout the days, each time I went out to see the spider, I usually found sitting head down in the middle of the web. I read that few female spiders survive to maturity, but most of the males do, and they are usually eaten by the female after mating with her. That is crazy to me because I think is insane that literally they kill their partner. From what I saw they eat a lot of insects and little spiders too because on the web there were these animals wrapped in a spider web.

I believe that stories like these are important to create a deeper connection with nature, as I said before, we are not alone and we have to stop thinking that we are, we share this earth with a thousand creatures, animals and plants. Paying attention challenges traditional expectations about nature, cities, people, and the environment. If we are more connected to our outside world we can learn and serve others not just ourselves. I believe that it is very important to take care of others, learn about plants, meet animals and tell these stories that leave a mark and open the way for more stories and connections like this.

I share a little of the photos, videos and drawings that I made in this investigation and a link to a video of this incredible spider so that you can learn and know a little more.