I was harvesting a few lemons this morning, when I stepped noticed a string of tiny yellow spiders, climbing up, up, up into the canopy of our tree.
My best guess is that they are baby Argiope aurantia spiders, otherwise known as yellow garden spiders. It seems that the babies actually hatch out of eggs in the winter, but do not emerge from their protective egg-casing until later in the spring.
Each little spider had a long climb, to the upper reaches of the lemon tree. Each was tethered to this central thread with their own silken harness. (I'll confess that I bumped one or two when I was taking photos, but apparently they were already prepared for jostling.)
One after another, after another, they climbed and climbed. Neither Robb nor I had ever seen anything like this.
photo from the Beetles in the Bush blog
These little creatures should grow up to become beautiful big spiders. Robb and I are delighted to share our urban garden with these iconic meadow-dwellers.