The mother of all spiders

I went back to Nasketucket this morning, and for half of my walk I didn’t see anything special – tons of pearly crescentspots, and one spicebush swallowtail when I first pulled into the parking lot – but on the walk back, I spotted my first – and only – praying mantis of the year…

Praying mantis

… and then one of my favorite butterflies – a great spangled fritillary – which I’ve only ever seen at Nasketucket…

Great spangled fritillary

… and then a giant garden spider. I haven’t seen one of these bad boys in years! I’d forgotten just how big – and, well, oogy – they are. But, as always, I’m thinking “Contest!”

Spider and preyGarden spider

I did some laundry at my mom’s afterwards. She has a butterfly bush that was popular with the painted ladies…

Painted lady

… and took a quick walk around the end of River Road, where I saw a great blue heron hanging out with a bunch of ducks.

Great blue heron and duck

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