Scared of spiders? Hamilton garden event aims to untangle web of misconceptions

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Published August 29, 2023 at 10:45 am

COURTESY OF URQUHART BUTTERFLY GARDEN
COURTESY OF URQUHART BUTTERFLY GARDEN

A spider enthusiast wants to put your fears about arachnids to rest. 

Christopher Cheatle, a member of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, said almost all spiders in Ontario are harmless. He has been a fan of spiders for many years. He is well known for his identification skills and is one of the top birders in Canada, according to Urquhart Butterfly Garden’s website. 

As a keen observer of nature, Cheatle said spiders are helpful and amazing creatures.

He notes that some of these eight-eyed, eight-legged creatures can adjust their colour and jump 25 times their own body length.

As part of the Urquhart Butterfly Garden’s summer education series, Cheatle will hold a free one-hour workshop to share more fascinating facts about spiders Saturday, Sept. 2 at 10 a.m. on the eastern edge of Centennial Park at 128 King St. E. in Dundas. The location is accessible by bus or bike with free parking. People are asked to bring a chair and wear a hat. Dogs are not permitted.

The event will be cancelled if it rains. For more information, contact Joanna Chapman at [email protected].

Named after entomologists Dr. Frederick and Norah Urquhart, Urquhart Butterfly Garden is Canada’s first municipal butterfly garden. The garden, which doesn’t use pesticides, is heavily planted with nectar and foliage plants needed by butterflies and caterpillars. 

The garden is open dawn to dusk, seven days per week.

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