Our patio isn't exactly a Kiplingesque Mowgli's haunt, but boy do you get to see some fascinating creature-features!
It wasn't raining today so the little MoonBug and I were outside. She was crawling around as usual while I just sat on a foam mat on the floor, listening to the breeze. It was so quiet and lovely. Just then I spotted a most wonderfully intricate spider web, stretching between the hibiscus bush and the mesh netting around the gazebo. As I studied it, I became increasingly fascinated by the way the spider, who was lurking in the center of it all, had anchored it to various points on the plant, the netting, even to the floor. The architecture was perfect!
There were lots of little bugs buzzing around, and I just had to wait and watch. Sure enough, one bug snagged in the web. I was on my feet in an instant. In that ONE second, the spider had not only leapt onto the trapped bug, but also wrapped it in it's web-making discharge. I absolutely could not believe the speed of it all. I must have stopped breathing for sure. The little bug was motionless. No doubt paralyzed, I thought. Would the spider now eat its prey? It was back in the center of the web, having left the bug all coccooned up a few inches away. Was it being saved for later? I was still astounded by how quickly the little guy operated, when the impossible happened. The bug moved. Then a leg peeped out of the coccoon, and then another. As I watched, agape, the bug WRIGGLED OUT AND DROPPED TO THE GROUND. It fled in an instant. The spider stayed where it was, motionless.
I think by then my jaw had reached the floor. This entire drama unfolded in maybe 90 seconds. Unbelievable. I wish I had the camera handy to take pictures of the web at least (it's gone now - we had another heavy shower) but the pictures in my mind are probably indelible now.
All this in a tiny corner of the little patio.
Long live wildlife!