Your yard is probably like mine right now. After a week of rain, it's more of a science project than a sanctuary, with scores of insects ranging from freakishly fascinating to totally gross. (I've got slugs the size of man fingers back there.)
However, since Saturday, my sons and I have been observing this spider. A quick Google search told me it's just called a garden spider, and pretty common for this time of year in Wisconsin. However, it's the first time I saw one in my yard.
"Charlotte" (we've been pronouncing it "Char-lot" in a fake accent that ranges between Spanish, French and British) is about two inches long. She built a massive web in my irises, and every time it rains, she diligently rebuilds it.
Yesterday, Kai caught a moth with his butterfly net and tossed it into her web. As a winged insect, it got caught in the sticky silk immediately, and within a split second, Charlotte snagged it, bit it in the neck and began to wrap it into a neat little package until it was, as 5-year-old Kai put it, "the size of a booger."
The fun continued this morning, when Kai noticed a small army of ants feasting on a dead cicada. He insisted I look at it with him -- as close as my squeamishness could allow -- and discuss the fact the cicada's face was half-munched.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.