Friday, September 24, 2010

Not for the Squeamish

Don't say I didn't warn you — if you are afraid of or don't like spiders, you may want to come back to visit me another day, because today I'm featuring pictures of a Writing Spider. He has been living happily in a huge web suspended over a flower bed along the path that leads from our courtyard to the back yard, and has been there for a couple of weeks. We have admired him from "afar," and he has totally ignored us as we passed by him on the path.

Yesterday, I spent almost the entire day working in our yard, and, as I worked along the path pulling up some Mint that was taking over the flower bed, I completely forgot about our "little friend." When I realized I was working where his web had been, I have to admit that I could immediately feel him crawling in my hair and down my back (shudder!).

Needless to say, I began to frantically brush myself off, imagining all sorts of places on my body that the spider could be. Once I got over my panic attack and assured myself that he wasn't on me, I calmed down and was relieved to see him on the wall in back of the flower bed. I think I actually saw a smirk on his face, probably caused by witnessing my rather "undignified" antics as I brushed myself off (that had to have been a Kodak moment, for sure).

And speaking of Kodak moments — after recovering my dignity, I decided that I needed to capture that smirky-faced little creature for posterity, and went inside and got my camera and ZOOOOOOOOM lens. I felt comfortable looking at him up close through the zoom lens, because I could stand several feet away from him.

This is what I saw (doesn't that look like a smirk on his face?) —

I love the shadow in this picture.

I know he looks really scary in my pictures because of his size, but I googled "writing spiders," and was pleased (and relieved) to discover that they are not aggressive or poisonous.

Some species of Writing Spiders spin a silky "zigzag" type of web (often with a hollow center). These silky webs have been shown to play a role in attracting prey to the web, and possibly to prevent its destruction by large animals. The "silk" is easily seen as the spider busily works to spin its web, but the larger portion of the web may not be that easy to see.

I'm not sure what happened to my spider's web. I didn't notice it when I was working, but I could have (shudder again!) knocked it down without realizing it.

One day last month we were at our land, and I took some pictures of a Writing Spider in its web. You can see the web in the following pictures (if you want to), and also the silky "zigzag" pattern.

Although I don't have a phobia about spiders (Arachnophobia), I prefer to give them their space and watch them from afar — or even better, through a ZOOOOOOOOOOOOM lens!


Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

great shots, I have one right outside my bedroom window that has been there gingerly working for the last month.

Anonymous said...

Funny you should post this. I just did a post last week about a garden spider last week. I also took several photos. I would love it if you would check it out. Here's the link:

racheld said...

One of my favorites amongst all God's little creatures!! And yours is spectacularly lovely, with all the Fall markings and beautiful heiroglyphs on the back.

I've always had an affinity for spiders, and very carefully take them outside (except in Winter), when I sometimes just leave them alone, if they're way in an inconspicuous corner minding their own business.

I've caused my family many an EWWWWW moment when I'd pick up one in my hand and transport her out to a plant or the lawn. And the one in the shrub out back has, I swear, been there for about five years---her name is Mistress Octavia, Ogress of the Weatherbush.

She peeks out from the evergreen fronds with twinkly little eyes, and runs forward sometimes when I gently tweak the end of a limb.

I always wonder if she can see me and recognize me as a friend.

Jenni said...

Oh girl, you did it again! Showed the beauty in something I normally would not even want to look closely at!

I have watched many spiders near our patio weaving their webs so industriously,(FROM AFAR). They are interesting, but I must admit I SHUDDERED at your pics at first, and when I thought of it crawling down your hair.... GASP! LOL!

God is such an Artist, though, thanks again for showing me that..

Tonja said...

I read the first part of the post. But I confess...when the pictures started, I had to scroll quickly to the comments. I'm sure they are perfectly lovely pictures...IF you like spiders. I don't. Sorry, I don't even like to look at them.