Garden drama, in miniature

If you've been reading my blog for a while you probably know that I love the drama that large plants add to the garden: bamboo, elephant ears, castor bean, large grasses, gunnera -- all plants that make an impact even from across the yard. You probably also know that I love the other end of the scale too, taking a close look at the plants and creatures that inhabit my garden.


Yesterday morning I came across another example of the small-scale drama that must be happening hundreds of times a day throughout the garden if you take the time to look for them. A tiny spider had built a web in my flowering cilantro, and I watched for several minutes.

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I'm fascinated by spiders, especially when I can get a close look at them with the macro lens. They often have beautiful, striking markings and are much more colorful than they seem from normal viewing distance (which some people prefer to be a minimum of 10 feet, more if possible).


The cilantro plant is covered in tiny blooms right now, so this seemed like an ideal place for a tiny spider to catch a meal.


I expect that most of a spider's life is spent sitting and waiting, and this guy never moved once while I watched.

I did finally see what the spider probably saw too:


A hoverfly making its way from flower cluster to flower cluster.


I thought at one time the fly was going to move directly into the web and I'd witness its capture, but it stopped two inches in front of the web, sort of hovered in a circular pattern, then turned and flew around the web.


It's obvious to me that the hoverfly saw the web, but I just don't know how. Its compound eyes must be better than I imagine they are.


Disappointment must be a large part of a spider's life too.

This little beetle seemed to be watching in anticipation along with me...


He's probably as interested in these little garden dramas as I am, but for a more personal reason (self-preservation).


How many other tiny spiderwebs are there in my garden right now, with this same scene playing out over and over? All I need to do is look around a little more closely and I'm sure I'd find them everywhere!


(I've often thought it would be interesting to spend a day just photographing the insects I find in my garden, and see how many different species of bugs and spiders I can find. Maybe if I limit it to an hour or two, that would be more realistic.... Hmmm.... that sounds like a fun project for a nice late spring day. )

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anne  – (June 2, 2011 at 1:03 PM)  

Does that spider have a white "cross" on the back? We see many similar looking spiders and their big webs toward September, and then one day they are suddenly gone, web & all.

And photographing insects in your gardens? Go for it - you always seem to find good ones.

HolleyGarden  – (June 2, 2011 at 1:05 PM)  

I often think about photographing the bugs, but my camera is frustrating to me, so I don't. It really is fascinating to think of how nature unfolds in our gardens.

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (June 2, 2011 at 2:40 PM)  

Love the macro photos of the spider! I love photographing "my" bugs! Thay make interesting subject :)

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