Our Summer Visitor
(page two)

September 14, 2010

It wasn't more than a couple of days until a handsome male came calling. (Actually two males appeared but one landed a little too close to the evil ugly garden spider that had taken up residence in the corner above the doorway - and his life was ended most abruptly.) This little guy shown here however, approached very timidly, gently caressing her antenna with his own and with great caution accomplished mating. He stayed for about 6 hours and we were glad to see he left with his head intact. :) We had learned that if the female is well fed, the male has a much better chance to make a safe get-a-way.




He seemed so tiny by comparison.

Afterward she was active and ready to hunt.



September 22, 2010

For the next week or so we noticed several birds eyeing her threateningly from the patio wall lights. We kept trying to run them off but it soon became apparent if we wanted her to survive, she would need some protection.  So we dug out our old hexagon fish tank and found some twigs and gravel to make her a protected environment right next to the screen door. We covered the top with screen and, after a few minutes of examining the new surroundings, she seemed quite content. She really liked the screened part and soon her favorite place was hanging from the top.

September 23, 2010
The very next day she laid her egg sack!

We were shocked at how huge it was. It took her about one hour to produce the whole thing which was much bigger than she was. It was a soft foamy thing that felt like a bizarre marshmallow at first, but began to harden into a solid case within a few hours.

We knew from our research that the egg case contained between 100 and 400 eggs that would hatch out from between the layers next spring.


She seemed very proud of her work! 


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