Massive Garden spider

It’s been a little while, so time for an update! Summer lingered late into September, and I even found myself eating lunch al fresco in October last weekend. Autumn has finally landed however, with plenty of wet and wild weather to knock the leaves off the trees.

  • Garden spiders are everywhere, stringing their massive webs across paths, waiting to trap unsuspecting arachnophobes. The one pictured above was on the front my recycling bin and was about the largest I’ve ever seen. Absolutely massive!
  • One evening I watched a smaller male Garden spider tentatively approaching a female in order to mate. She wasn’t keen and batted him away a few times before he managed to get in there. I might post the video sometime soon.
  • I’ve run into a few foxes recently, in my own garden and whilst out running. I’m always a little nervous when only a couple of yards from a fox – you don’t know what they might do, especially if they’re desperately hungry, ill (usually mange) or feel threatened. Usually it’s “skulk away”.
  • Such a long hot dry period, and yet when the rains come, the slugs and snails are there right away in incredible numbers. I could imagine people of days gone by imagining that they actually come down in the rain itself overnight.
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  1. Question about foxes. At our flats we have local foxes who often visit in the night hours. As do cats. There seem to be quite a few local cats going missing, if the flyers on posts are an indication. Also, often we get squealing in our gardens, again at night. Could it be the foxes that are getting the cats, but if so what do they do with the remains?

  2. Hi Tom – that’s an interesting question. The foxes clearly treat back gardens as their own manor (I see them do this in my own suburban back garden, along with several neighbourhood cats) and I suppose it must be possible for a fox to take a cat, and for it never to be seen again. Maybe you’re onto something! At the same time we must be very careful of leaping to dangerous conclusions as it could equally well not be the case, or represent an extremely tiny number.

    I had a quick search and turned up this article: The gist seems to be that foxes and cats do clash (it would be surprising if they didn’t) but that evidence suggests the incidence of cats being injured by foxes is far outweighed by other cats and cars (*40 and *10 respectively).

  3. Many thanks. We have a few sounds off in our gardens. The ones that make me think are not the cat fights but the occasional very loud single and long ones that sound as though something has been got. I have a fox tie, from the Leicestershire Foxes the one time touring team of Westleigh (now Leicester Lions) and Stoneygate rugby clubs. So there is a natural interest.

  4. All I can add re foxes in gardens is that I get regular visits from them and badgers too,as there is a badger sett not too far away.The foxes must breed very near by as a couple of years ago I found a dead cub on my back lawn.It had died from a throat wound.What killed it I always wonder,a dog maybe,but not much sign of loose ones here.a dog fox,or perhaps those badgers?Hopefully not a cat, as they are seen in the garden!!

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