Monday, March 23, 2015

Spider in the Hole

Early last November, the Carolina Wolf Spider residing at the edge of one of my vegetable garden beds, sealed off the entrance to her burrow in preparation for surviving the cold winter season.  The earthen seal remained undisturbed through the winter.  On March 16 of this year, the seal was removed and the burrow reopened.

Heavy snow flattened Butterflyweed stalks and effectively erased signs of the burrow entrance.  Had I not placed a white marker stone a few inches from the burrow, I would have had a hard time deciding just where I should be watching for the reappearance of the burrow.

On March 21 I caught my first glimpse of the spider.  I was happy to see that she had survived the winter with no noticeable negative effects.  With no nearby standing cover, it’s hard to get close to the burrow without scaring the spider back inside.  The spider is just about dead center in this shot.

Fortunately, the spider was quick to reemerge from its burrow, so I had plenty of photo opportunities. 

This spider is a female who would have been hatched in the summer of 2013.  She attained her adult size last summer and should have mated sometime in the fall.  That means she should be producing eggs this spring that will hatch in early summer.  I’ll be keeping a close eye on her in hopes of witnessing some of the young leaving the burrow later on.

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