Monday, July 30, 2012

You Know You're Blogger When...

...your son comes in the house and says, 
"Mom, there's a Black Widow spider on the floor of the garage." 
and you grab your camera.

Either that, or you're fascinated with all creatures great and small.

Or both.

I consider myself in the "both" category.

This dying spider gave me the chance to help Quinn put aside some of his fears regarding her and her kind.
First, I flipped her over to show him he was right in his identification skills.

I looked all over the garage for her web to show him what one looks like.  
Our garage is a disaster, so I could easily have missed it.
I told him that black widow webs have nothing in common with what folks commonly think of when they think of spider webs.  She does not spin a tidy, spoked web like Orb weavers do (Think Charlotte's Web).  She makes more of a wandering-about-in-a-small-space sort of web.  There is no rhyme or reason to its construction.

I also assured him that BW spiders are very timid.  One summer, several years ago, we had a large hatch of them in our garage.  It seemed like there was a web in every window and corner.  Each time I'd approach a web, she'd skitter away to hide.  She had no interest in biting me.  I read that the only reason she may bite, is if you accidentally touch her web.  She rushes out thinking you are food.  

Scientist recently unraveled the DNA structure of the BW's web.  Turns out the "drag line" (what they use to make a web vs. what they use to dangle from a rafter) part of the silk is one of the strongest in the arachnid world.  They'd like to copy its strength for use by humans.

Regarding this dying spider.
She put up no fight at all when I flipped her over.
However, she was gone when I went out later in the day.
I'm hoping the chickens ate her.


  1. That's an excellent example of the red hour glass markings and shiny black body. Good for you in your helping Quinn appreciate the Black Widow.

    Spiders don't scare me much as long as they stay out of my bed and clothes. But as a child I had quite a dread of BW's There was a colony of them in the well house where I was sent to turn on the water occasionally. I was certain they'd attack and kill me while I was in their lair.

    1. Dark, damp places scared me as a child as well. Of course, I was sure "there be monsters" in my basement--not spiders. Quinn doesn't know the spider disappeared. He may think less of my teaching moment if he knew. :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks. I love the little "flower" setting on my camera.

  3. They are beautiful! I also am fascinated by stuff like that and the BW is so pretty that I always spend a few extra moments looking at them before I smash them. Anyhow, good pic!

    1. Ah, another spider lover. I, too, will kill the BWs. I didn't kill this one because it seemed as though she was about done for. Hubby sprayed the garage a couple months ago.