Although not rare this beauty is called Tegenaria gigantea - a house spider. It is thought that females of this species can exist for several years and can survive several months without food or drink!
Digging deeper into the old piles of plastic flowerpots we found this spider. A species of Steatoda spider- quite possibly Steatoda bipunctata .Care was taken as some of these species do inflict a painful, although not in England life threatening, bite. We had to be particularly careful with this one as close inspection shows that she is guarding her nest of eggs/baby spiders. The deadly Black Widow spider is of the genus.
The nest is the round ball of white silk which cocoons the eggs and baby spiders until they are old enough to hatch out. This species is also called the Rabbit Hutch spider.
In the pond overnight things had also been moving with 8 empty large dragonfly nymph cases counted on the emergent vegetation. Probably Emperor or Southern Hawker dragonflies. These empty cases can be keyed out and the species identified. Future work.
The Collared Dove is still sitting tight on her nest
The School Garden Open Day is looming- June 22nd - and it is was pleasing to see some recent activity on the class beds with planting and some more very decorative flower pots
Finally the Sweet Peas have started to flower. Our firm favourite is Cupani - which has the most amazing scent and is closely related to the wild sweet pea found growing in Southern Europe
A working party is envisaged next weekend June 15th and 16th - contact the school if you would like to help out in this fantastic environmental garden