It’s that time of year. Pumpkins are perching on porch steps and faux spider webs festoon porch rails. I’m not much of a decorator. I just don’t enjoy all the putting up and taking down involved in elaborate displays. No worries- nature has me covered. No jack-o-lantern is needed when you have an anchor bug who regularly drinks nectar from the flowers on your porch rail.

Anchor Bug Stiretrus anchorago
Rear-view of an Anchor Bug Stiretrus anchorago
Anchor Bug Stiretrus anchorago
Anchor Bug Stiretrus anchorago drinking nectar

Faux spider webs are unnecessary when your porch has a resident orb-weaver taking care of the decorations.

Argiope aurantia
Yellow Garden Spider Argiope aurantia resting after laying eggs in an egg sac larger than herself!
Yellow Garden Spider Argiope aurantia
Yellow Garden Spider Argiope aurantia. This is the second egg sac she attached to the shutter on our porch. Tonight (5 days later) she is back in her web catching insects.

For those who think of “eye of newt and toe of frog” around Halloween, there are no newts on my porch, but if you peak in the chicken flower pot- you are likely to find frog toes.

pickerel frog Lithobates palustris
Pickerel Frog Lithobates palustris

If you look closely at my porch rail you may find lizard’s leg.

Green Anole Anolis carolinensis
Green Anole Anolis carolinensis

And don’t forget to peak in the snail flower pot, where you may spot a toad.

American Toad Anaxyrus americanus
American Toad Anaxyrus americanus

Thankfully, most of the witches brew ingredients from that poem in Shakespeare’s Macbeth were actually just odd names for plants- not parts of some of my favorite porch dwellers.

In an effort to fit in with my neighbors, I did add a pot of mums to my steps- but they have been disappointing. There is not a single amphibian nestled in the pot and the bugs avoid them.

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