I love nature. Everywhere I go, I am marvelling at plants and animals. Even though red kites are a fairly common sight overhead these days, I still stop and gaze in awe at them as they swoop over my garden. I get excited by insects, spiders, birds, mammals, you name it.
It helps that our garden is such a haven for wildlife. I love to hear the hedgehogs rootling in the leaf litter. I love watching the bees going crazy for all the flowers. In particular, at the moment I am getting excited about our new spiders.
I've posted before about the crab spider I found. Well, I've spotted five different crab spiders now, all different sizes. A couple of them are tiny!
We have something new though. A new spider species I'd never seen before, although I understand they are fairly widespread across the south of England.
I spotted the web on Tuesday evening. It wasn't there on Monday.
Such an unusual shape! And that strange pale lump in the middle. What could it be?
I tried to get a better look.
This was taken very shortly after the above. A few minutes later, at most. There's the spider responsible, at the top of the web. And look, inside. Baby spiders! Just emerged from the egg sac!
I had no idea what I was looking at. I went online and did some research. I got a positive ID for the spider: Pisaura miribalis, the Nursery Web spider. Apparently, they carry the egg sac around until it's ready to burst, then they create this nursery web in which the spiderlings emerge. Mum guards the nursery, and brings food, until the spiderlings go through their first moulting, at which point they leave and go their own way.
Yesterday evening I managed to get a better shot of the mother spider.
Isn't it weird looking!
I love how much life we get in our garden. We even spotted mating moths yesterday evening, on the back of one of the garden chairs: