Monday, June 21, 2010

Eight-Leggeds

If you haven't guessed by the title, this is about spiders.
Fair warning.
I love just about all spiders. The one caveat is venomous spiders.
I suppose it could be argued that all spiders have venom. I just don't care to spend any time with those that can pierce human skin and cause a trip to the ER.
Spiders come in so many shapes and sizes.
All are voracious hunters.
They are so good for the garden and often good for humans that tend to wander around the house without shoes. I'll get to that later.
Some spin webs, some hunt, some build traps.
All have eight legs.
For some reason, all spiders are "she" to me. Much the same way all cats are "she" to some people.
Sexist I know.
You'll have to forgive me.
Crab spider.
She hunts. You can't tell from this picture, but they often take on the hue of the plant they live on.
Another crab spider.
You'll have to look a bit close at the picture to spot her.
It looks like a nice picture of a Red Admiral butterfly. It's a nice picture of a dying Red Admiral. The spider has captured the butterfly. Obviously, crab spiders are strong. She's holding this butterfly up with her front legs.
This tiny silver dot, is the male version of the common Garden Spider. In the spider world, the male is often much, much tinier than the female. I don't understand the biology of it, but I bet Google can help me out.

Here is an Orb weaving spider.
She spins an intricate web (think Charlotte's Web). Unfortunately, to do that properly, spiders need all 8 legs. She's missing one of her back legs. The back legs are the ones to attach the silk to "spoke" of the web. She seems to be doing alright, despite the missing leg.

The largest spider in North America.
Beautiful Miss Tarantula.
The main reason I like them so much, is that they eat scorpions. Scorpions come in the house and get stepped on by unsuspecting humans.
Nasty sting! Hurts like the dickens for hours.
Tarantulas, while vemomous and certainly able to pierce human skin, do not worry me. I have no need to pick one up. That would be the only reason she would bite me.
She's a hunter, too.

Mrs. Wolf spider with her babies along for the ride. I blogged about her last month.

This is the female version of the Garden spider.
Isn't she a beauty?
She is also an Orb weaving spider.
This one was fantastic at web building and smart about it too. She built it outside the kitchen window. That seemed to be the window that had the lights on most of day and evening. Lights draw insects.
Voila'---dinner comes to her.

Lastly, another orb spider. She was a giant compared to the one in the 4th picture.
As big a kumquat!
I only discovered her because of the guide 'wires' from her web. I nearly wiped out her whole web while mowing the pasture.
She would never come out of her camouflaged hiding spot so I could get a better picture.
Sometimes you just have to be happy with what you can get.

5 comments:

  1. Well, I think spiders are cool too. Although I have no use for the black widows and brown recluse. Once I jumped up in the middle of a meeting with a visitor to run and find something to smash big fuzzy brown guy who was trotting across the dining room floor. Talk about a conversation stopper.

    Anyway, you photos of the arachnids are amazing. I really like the colors of the garden spider. The orb webs are more spectacular to me than a suspension bridge. Those ladies do all that work alone and without heavy equipment. Thanks for the show and tell!

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  2. Yikes. Your pictures are truly amazing! I honestly don't know why, but I'm just downright afraid of spiders. Waaaaaaah.

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  3. I love spiders, too. They are just awe inspiring. I found a black widow one time and almost cried when Bernie killed it. Such a beautiful girl. Your pictures are awesome, Carla. I would love to see that giant orb spider whose nest is in the last picture!

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  4. These pictures are so beautiful! I would probably jump and run if I met any of them, but they seem safer through the screen (I am a wuss and I am not afraid to admit it:))) But I can deal with the little ones.. the big ones get escorted out (alive) by my hubby.

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  5. GREAT POST!!! You did a wonderful job! I hope other people from my blog hurry over here to see this post...

    Now for for spiders....I like all but the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse...I was bitten by a Brown Recluse and well, was very ill for several days/weeks.


    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

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