Garden Friendship with a Yellow Agriope Spider

| 4/3/2016 12:22:00 PM

Tags: spiders, predators, inspiration, humor, Kurt Jacobson, Colorado,

Yellow Agriope Spider In Garden 

I have a long-standing fear and dislike of spiders — especially big ones. Over the years, it has lessened somewhat but was not helped by moving into a house in Golden, Colorado, that was vacant for a year and bred a large number of Black Widow spiders.

I killed 44 of them in a three-month span before eradicating this pest from our new home. You could say I was not a likely candidate for conversion to a spider lover.

I was in the garden one day picking my newest favorite tomato, ‘Juliet’, when I met her. She was striking in appearance and quickly grabbed my complete attention. This was because my hand was dangerously close to the biggest spider I had seen in my four years of veggie gardening in Perry Hall, Maryland.

I pulled my hand back quickly due to the long-standing fear of spiders and considered my options: I could squish the life out of her since she might be a nuisance with her web right in the middle of my favorite tomato plant, or I could leave her alone for now. I decided a stay-of-execution was in order and sought expert advice.

I went inside and grabbed my camera to take her picture to send to the UMD Grow-It-Eat-It plant and garden experts. They would know if this was a dangerous vixen in my tomato patch or a friend to be welcomed.

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