Charlotte's Web by E.B. White is one of my favorite childhood stories. This week I came across a bunch of articles discussing the type of spider that inspired White. It is the harmless black and yellow garden spider, Argiope aurantia. They are also known as the writing spider because they weave stablimentia or zigzag patterns into their webs, which resemble writing. What a beautiful creature! I love their yellow and black banding.
In this photo you can clearly see the stablimentia.
These spiders are harmless to humans. If you pinch them hard, they will bite, but they will not if you pick them up gently. You will not get sick from their bite like the black widow or brown recluse.
Writing spiders are beneficial to the environment, so if you see one hanging out in your garden, please don't disturb them. They eat mosquitos, moths, and other flying insects.
Next time you're outdoors, perhaps you'll be inspired too. I'm sure Charlotte will be looking out for you.
Fun spider fact: Spiders are venomous, not poisonous. Venom is injected into the skin. Poison is ingested.
As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!