Loved by widows

The widows are here! First my mailbox, then my porch, then potted plants, and then virtually everywhere else you'd imagine (though, so far only outside). Just a few days after my buddy Stirling raised my awareness of Brown Widow spiders, I discover I'm overrun.

Here's a sample. Isn't she cute, hiding behind her egg sacks?

It's good to see wildlife in my back yard - and I see more and more as I add more native plants and as existing ones get larger. Still, I'd rather see some birds than this creature and her friends.

This is a Brown Widow, indicated by spiky egg sacks. Black widows have smooth egg sacks. The Brown Widow spider is a non-native species which is a bit ironic considering my California native garden plant selection. Depending upon who you believe, the bite of a Brown Widow is less toxic than that of a Black Widow.

Interesting widow fact: "An enduring myth, even believed by scientists and found in ecology textbooks, is that a behavioral trait of black widow spiders is for the female to consume the male during or after mating (Crawford 2003). Indeed, such behavior is the source of the common name of these spiders. While such behavior is observed under captive conditions, it is considered to be uncommon among black widow spiders in nature (Crawford 2003)." link

I have my father to thank for giving me a nifty camera, a Canon Powershot. It has a digital macro capability that I used for this shot. I was about 2 inches away from the widow. Unfortunately, I think I moved a bit too much for the anti-shake feature to compensate, so it's not perfectly in focus.


  1. Ugh, I just can't handle spiders.

  2. A sharp jet of water sprayed on their hiding areas every couple weeks seems to knock the population down pretty well.