August Argiope

Argiope Spider photographed by Jeff Zablow in Kelso Swamp, Fayette Township, PA

These things catch my attention each and every time. This female was in Traci’s Kelso Swamp in FayetteTownship, southwestern Pennsylvania. In September 2015 her OMG! web was stretched between non-woody plants. She was just about 10 feet from the swamp, patiently waiting for some insect to fly to or away from the swamp, and into her sticky, amazingly resilient web.

I stopped, stooped down, and respectfully kept a discrete distance from her. I’ve walked into spider webs, right into the bulls-eye center, too many times. I know they aren’t aggressive and don’t retaliate, but . . . they do look bigger and scarier than they should. Black and Yellow Argiopes remind me of those guys in my Brooklyn neighborhood who you just didn’t mess with.

We had a good laugh that day, when I DID walk into one of their webs. Back recently from Georgia, I shared our readers that southern US webs and northern spider webs taste the same.

Like I’ve said before, all the Carnegie Mellon U, Cal Tech, MIT, Berkeley, Georgia Tech engineering and robotics departments combined shouldn’t even try to outdo this beast, engineered by the B-st.