Too Much Nature for Today
I think I’ve had enough nature today to last for the week.
Earlier today I went outside to pick tomatoes and found that a HUGE green caterpillar devoured all but 5 leaves on my cherry tomato plant and ate half the cherry tomatoes too. I mean, this guy was enormous- he ate the whole plant in a day and a half. Then I found my heirloom and beefsteak tomatoes were covered in tiny spiders and spider webs (yuck!). I tried to brush off some of the spider webs and picked off the dead leaves (without touching any spiders) and almost grabbed a hold of a praying mantis cleverly disguised as a dead leaf, of course. I’m glad he’s there, hopefully he’ll eat the spiders, but he nearly gave me a heart attack. I went inside and debated whether to make lunch or go back outside and take pictures of the caterpillar and praying mantis, and decide to take pictures.
I walked outside and turned around to slide the screen door shut and to find a man eating, spotted orangey-red spider, at least the size of a half dollar, right near my face on the screen door. (I thought the praying mantis nearly gave me a heart attack). I didn’t notice him when I walked out because the blinds were mostly shut. So, I backed up in the corner near the caterpillar (who was big enough to easily eat my index finger in one swift gulp if he were a carnivore) and millions of tiny spiders to the right of me, not exactly sure what to do. I decided to take a photo of the spider, you know, in case I died so my husband would know what caused my death. For those of you who think I’m over-reacting (I probably am) but we have these big ugly aggressive black spiders in our house that actually run at you. (This I’m not over-dramatizing). I’ve found three of them in my office, one per day, for the last 3 days in a row and one of them actually ran towards me, backing me in the corner behind my desk (I had to throw a blanket on him and run out). So, the entire time I’m picturing this red and orange spider leaping onto me with its fangs out. And that’s when my camera battery died. So there I was, trapped outside, starving, with an unusable camera, no pictures of the praying mantis, and my cell phone was inside the house.
I started praying the spider would travel left instead of up, like he was trying to. He took his sweet time but the spider eventually moved far enough to the side that I could get back inside. I did not go back outside to take more pictures or remove the caterpillar from my poor naked tomato plant.
For those of you interested, I think the spider I saw looked very similar this marbled orb weaver, but darker with more red and orange shades. It turns out they are not man eating or venomous (if that’s what kind it was) but I don’t plan to test that out anytime soon.
I did get a few photos with my phone of the caterpillar and praying mantis the first time I went outside. They aren’t great, but I’m not going back out there today 🙂
This entry was posted on September 26, 2011 by flipflopsallyear. It was filed under From the Garden, Life's Adventures and was tagged with caterpillar, cherry tomato, marbled orb weaver, praying mantis, San Diego, spiders, tomatoes.