The Yellow Garden spider moved her web closer to the front porch, perhaps to snare more of the bugs that flock to the lights there. It must be working because she's bigger than ever! Today I noticed that her egg sac was nearby, nestled in the rose bush.
These spiders have a life cycle of only a year. Eggs are encased in a sac that resembles brown paper. The baby spiders hatch and overwinter in the sac. They disperse in spring but are hardly noticed until they mature toward the end of summer.
Several weeks ago there were two Yellow Garden Spider webs close to one another. One web was very large and the other smaller. Then the spider in the smaller web disappeared. But that’s normal. I learned that the male builds a small web near the female's and waits until she's ready to mate. After mating occurs, the male dies. The female dies after laying her eggs so I guess she'll disappear soon, too.
Although I usually prune the roses in February, I might have to wait until much later so I won’t disturb the babies in the middle of winter. After all, I want to watch Yellow Garden spiders again next year—through the window, of course.