Ice and spiderlings

The alternating freeze and thaw we have been seeing here lately has made for some interesting ice formations. Unfortunately, the most beautiful and delicate patterns sunk into the creek bed the moment I stepped on the bank.

A sure sign that spring is just around the corner, two of the three egg sacs that the Black and Yellow Argiope left behind on our house last year have broken open (Edit: you can see the spider, with all three of her egg sacs, in this photo). Tiny hatchlings clung to strands of silk that hung from them. As it still looks and feels like winter here, I didn’t expect to see them breaking free so soon. The contents of the nests had not completely blown away in the wind and were hanging at the end of the two strands, joining the sacs together. I wonder where all the little ones will end up?

27 Responses to “Ice and spiderlings”
  1. montucky says:

    Those ice patterns are pretty and interesting. Yes, it would be interesting to know where the little ones go. Despite the cold that has been lingering on here, I’ve seen numerous insects in the air the last week. It must not be too early for them. I suppose if I were to live only for one summer I would want to get an early start too!

  2. Oh I just love the close up world you show us. Beautiful, as always.

  3. Lisa says:

    Those spider sacs are gorgeous. If you get a chance to see any of her babies when they’re born, I’d love to see photos. The argiope’s colors and pattern are so amazing. A hopeful sign of spring.

    • It sure is hopeful. Thanks for your comment, Lisa! The female spider died after she made the sacs and laid her eggs in the fall, and the little brown dots are actually some of her baby spiders (from what I’ve read, it sounds like the eggs hatch in the fall and overwinter). Unfortunately, the photos don’t show them very well. Hopefully, I’ll get another chance to try some shots with a tripod and better lighting. They might be too small for me to capture, but I’ll keep you posted!

  4. sandy says:

    Another sign of the coming spring.
    I am going to be on the lookout for egg sacs.
    Love the ice patterns.

  5. donald says:

    i see you are starting to see a few little spots of bare ground up there too. it is amazing how the ice and snow melts this time of year even when the temps are below freezing. great shots! my friends in PA tell me the crocus are blooming there, so the renewal happily begins!

  6. missusk76 says:

    How wonderful to have kept an eye on these tiny miracles. Somehow it is reassuring to find any indication of spring’s return as if there is truly doubt that the sleeping world will awake.

  7. Wonderful ice images, and I’m amazed at how early the egg sacs seem to have broken open. I’ve just checked on ours in the garden and they’re still intact. Time to keep a daily eye on them I think!

  8. Sybil says:

    You are seeing and sharing the natural world in such a marvellous way.

    So glad I stumbled across your Blog.

    Best wishes, Sybil in Eastern Passage, NS

    • I’m glad you stumbled here, which allowed me to find your wonderful blog! I look forward to reading about your east coast adventures. Thanks so much for visiting and for your thoughtful words.

  9. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Those are very interesting ice formations. The spiderlings are sort of adorable!

    The other day in the drugstore I was looking at greeting cards when a tiny little spiderling dropped down in front of me on its almost invisible strand of silk. Don’t scream, Barbara, don’t scream… I took a deep breath and asked Tim to come see. It was so tiny I wished there was a magnifying glass handy in my purse (I bought one after this), but Tim confirmed that it was indeed an itsy bitsy spider! Wonder where his sac-mates were?

  10. lynnekovan says:

    Just found you via Sybil (Eastern Passage Passage) What fabulous shots of the spiders evolving! I shall be back for more inspiration! Thank You.

  11. Spiderlings – just love that word! We’re soon going to have Brown Button/Widow spiderlings in our postbox if we don’t do anything about the eggs sacs that I found there on the weekend. I hate killing spiders, but I don’t want these particular ones there.

  12. skadhu says:

    Your ice patterns are wonderful—don’t you wish they lasted all year? (Well, without the cold, perhaps.)

    I agree that the spiderlings are adorable. Do you have any sense how many were in each sac? I have spotted spiderlings of newly-hatched garden orb spiders in the past, and there can be masses of them—they seem to clump together in lumps (to keep warm?) when they first emerge.

    • Hi skadhu, if it were possible to have the ice all year without the cold, yes, for sure. You must miss it, you captured the patterns so beautifully all season in your photos. I read that there can be up to 1400 spiderlings from each sac. Daunting.

  13. Sybil says:

    This Post made me think of Charlotte’s Web …

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