Much of my planting in my tiny garden has been to encourage wildlife. For bees and butterflies I’ve planted loads of sedum spectabile aka Ice Plant. This has been highly successful from the numbers of hoverflies, bees and butterflies. This summer, if the weather was reasonably fine, I could go out and expect to see a good number of butterflies.
However, today I’ve seen the other side of nature – red in tooth and claw – as at least two tortoiseshells have met their doom in a spiders web.
Earlier today I was pleased to see a few tortoiseshells appreciating my sedum and buddleias. But it got sinister.
Here is a spider munching away on a butterfly a few inches from the happy tortoiseshell
Dinner was almost wrapped to be ready to eat.
Here you can see the spider inspecting its dinner.
The spider left its supper when I re-appeared! The spider was chomping away and then scuttle d away staying on its web and is visible in the middles of the sedum.
Meanwhile a few inches away are two bugs I cannot identify. They look similar but different colours. edit The greeny one seems to be a Green Shieldbug nymph
Meanwhile in the back garden a tortoiseshell which had been feeding on a buddleia had been trapped in a spider’s web. The spider wrapped it up in silk in preparation for dinner.
The poor thing was hauled off to safety in a nearby hydrangea.
and dinner began
unless the spider was waiting
and so it was pulled out of sight and ready to eat.
Two memorable takeaways!
This was so unexpected and very rewarding.
Of course it raises issues about the harshness of the natural world and for a theist of any sort even more issues as Darwin raised in connection with his favourite Ichneumon fly.