Spider swings by for visit

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Leo and Eileen Unger do not normally mind houseguests, but they do not normally have the half-dollar sized, eight-legged kind either.

For the past few days, the Ungers have woken up each morning, pulled the blinds in their dining room and checked up on their visitor - a massive black and yellow Garden Spider that has spun a wide web in the Ungers' North Ironton backyard.

"It has been fascinating to watch," Eileen said with a laugh, as the spider was hard at work wrapping a cocoon around an insect that had gotten a little too close. "(Spiders) are a little intimidating."

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Black-and-yellow Garden Spiders, or an Argiope aurantia, can be found among shrubbery, tall plants and flowers in meadows and gardens.

This spider found throughout the United States seems to prefer sunny sites with little or no wind.

The family have experienced a thrill out of watching the arachnid weave its web that spans from the deck, over the flower garden and beyond.

"It was real neat this morning when the dew was on its web," said John Unger, Eileen and Leo's son.

"Our grandsons were here last week and they played volleyball back there and knocked the web down. We thought that was the end of it," Eileen said. "Then we looked out there after about 3 hours and there he was. He had spun the web again."

The Ungers said they are not sure what they will do with the arachnid but would be willing to give him away.

"As long as it is that far away from the house, it is OK. Eventually we will take the broom to him," Eileen said. "We haven't named it yet. If we give him a name, we won't want to give it away."