Sometimes the best lessons come from nature. Now I promise you that even if nature gave me a lesson that involved a snake, the only way you'd see a picture of it on here is if it was dead.....because I wouldn't be close enough to get a picture of it....! lol! But some folks could feel that way about spiders, and I hope I don't gross you out here, but we have a couple that have made their home right outside ours. It made us dig a little deeper and see what kind of spider we had and read up on them a little bit!
First of all, meet Charlotte (named by Joy). She lives right off our carport (way up high).
She is a Black and Yellow Argiope (so says our pocket guide). She wears these colors to confuse predators into thinking she could possibly be a stinging yellow jacket! She actually has a beautifully woven web. She will kind of bounce up and down when we walk by sometimes. We read that they do this as a defense mechanism counting on the fact that most people are scared of spiders, especially with her bold yellow color and the fact that she is pretty big! She doesn't want anyone walking into her web and ruining all of her hard work of many hours! (And not to worry, I'd rather her warn me because I wouldn't WANT to walk into it!)
Here she is a little closer (and don't worry...I used my super duper lens to get close....I wouldn't be that close to a spider even if I was studying it!)
And now this is the same type of spider, named Spidey (by Joy also), that lives on the back side of our house near the outside water faucet.
She makes it very difficult to get to the water hose. Joy won't go anywhere near there and I have to admit....I'm a little skiddish! But this is what she does when you go near....she doesn't bother bobbing up and down....she takes off and runs down her web to the side of the house and turns upside down and hangs there until you go away and leave her alone!
She normally sits right in the middle of the web. I've noticed their webs always have this zig zag pattern in the very center:
We read that the female will have a large sac of eggs somewhere near the edge of the web. Now we couldn't find any in Charlotte's web, but we found this huge sac (probably 1" across) to the edge of Spidey's web.
We also read that often there is a male that lives in a smaller web at the edge of the female's! We kind of laughed at the fact that the male gets a small apartment to the side, while she gets the beautifully decorated mansion of a web! lol! But...unfortunately, we couldn't find anything resembling a side web with a male spider living there! (Maybe she ran him off already???) :)
And on a better and not so gross side of nature, we have our black swallowtail caterpillar given to us last Tuesday by a fellow homeschooling mom. She managed to obtain quite a few of these and offered them to homes willing to take them! Through the years with Colt and then later with Joy, we were able to watch Monarch caterpillars transform into beautiful butterflies. It was and is the most awesome thing to witness. If you happen to be there the moment that they come out of their chrysalis and go from crumpled wings to pumping them into large beautiful wings....you witness a miracle! We were fortunate enough to be able to take them out and release them! It was really something to witness! So...we were very excited to obtain this black swallowtail caterpillar. Our caterpillar's name is Herbie Lace (named by guess who again).
Herbie Lace ate and ate and ate for days......lots and lots of parsley. We watched Herbie go from a smaller caterpillar to a quite fat one! Then on Saturday, Herbie climbed up on the stem and hung in this hook position. From our experience with caterpillars before, I knew Herbie was preparing for the next stage....chrysalis!
And after church on Sunday, we came in and found Herbie in chrysalis form. You could actually see part of the skin that was shed at the bottom of the jar. Joy actually noticed it first. I also didn't expect the chrysalis it to be so green.....kind of blends in with the parsley!
Notice how the chrysalis looks like it has little ears at the top and if you look closely, you can see the sticky silky strings attaching it to the stem! It looks so delicate, but yet so firm!
And just think one day, we'll have a black swallowtail butterly! I don't really know how long it will take for the butterfly to emerge....but I hope we're here when it happens. So far we've been blessed to either see the others right when the chrysalis started moving and the butterfly started breaking through or when it had just come out. It's absolutely awesome! And to think God made them and designed them to do just that.....is just amazing to me! (When we have a butterfly, I will share pictures....if all goes well). And we'll find out hopefully if we have a "mother" butterfly or the mate by the color markings.
And that is your lesson from nature for today (thanks for hanging in there with me). We kind of get excited about this kind of stuff! I love it when we get little extras like that! I consider it a blessing! I want my kids to see the little things God took the time to create and the details involved!
And on another note......More Giveaways!
First of all Cozy Coops is having a wonderful fall giveaway...and a very generous one! Be sure to click on over and sign up!
And..The Noble Wife is having a wonderful Christmas giveaway! I love anything to do with Christmas, so this was exciting too! Hop on over and sign up for this generous one too!