These spiders have webs all along the trails around the Audubon Swamp Garden at Magnolia Plantation. During our visit June 26th there was a lot of mating activity. Look closely in this photo and you will see the much smaller black male on this side of the more colorful female. An exoskeleton she recently shed is stuck in the web just above them.
(Click any photo to enlarge.)
Our guide on the walk says these spiders won’t jump out onto human passers by. I reminded myself of that a few times as we passed under some webs. We’ll return in a few weeks and see how family life is progressing.
In the mean time the pond surfaces were active with dragonflies in a variety of colors scooping up other insects.
Spider lilies didn’t seem to mind the heat with their roots in several inches of water.
We have moved to South Carolina just in time to see the end of the nesting season at the Magnolia Plantation rookeries. Little Blue Herons feed their young, which are nearly as big as the adults, in an awkward, wing flapping, spectacle.
These Great Egrets were resting quietly in the heat of the day. Their nest doesn’t look like it will hold them in as the alligators patrol in the swamp below.
I heard some jaw snapping but didn’t see this gator get a meal. They are moving much faster than when we visited this area over the winter.